Smart moves news: Victoria; Swiss Cottage; Hackney; Kentish town

David Spittles has the latest on new homes in the capital and abroad
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Howick Place, Victoria
From £650 a week: rental apartments at Howick Place. Call 020 7340 0480

Victoria’s secret

With 23 new apartments, Howick Place is the latest property unveiling in fast-changing Victoria, where creative-sector companies are easing out government ministries.

Prestige fashion brands Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Jimmy Choo, and designers Tom Ford and Marc Newson are among the “new Victorians” to have set up headquarters in the area, joining contemporary art auctioneer Phillips de Pury, early arriver Channel 4 and technology giant Microsoft.

Redevelopment of a back street annexe to the local House of Fraser department store has resulted in a modern new office and residential block. Arguably this is Victoria’s most attractive neighbourhood, a tucked-away enclave of Edwardian mansion flats (the equal of anything in Kensington or Chelsea) clustered around Westminster Cathedral.

Apartments line the top two floors of Howick Place and share a vast communal roof garden with panoramic views. Developers Doughty Hanson and Terrace Hill have chosen to let rather than sell the homes — rents are from £650 a week. Call estate agent Garton Jones on 020 7340 0480.

Finchley Road
From £499,950: designer glamour comes to Finchley Road. Call 020 7435 4404

Swish Cottage

Solidly fashionable parts of north-west London, such as Hampstead and Belsize Park, have had a lower profile in recent years due to the regeneration spotlight shining on the old East End and south of the river.

But now a new mansion block at 353 Finchley Road brings designer glamour to well-connected Swiss Cottage, which has Regent’s Park as a giant back garden. The distinctive block has a bronze, stone and glass façade, while the 14 apartments span the entire depth of the building, providing dual-aspect views. Prices from £499,950. Call Goldschmidt & Howland on 020 7435 4404.

Fitzjohn’s Avenue runs from Swiss Cottage to Hampstead. When laid out in the 1880s, it was the area’s most prestigious address, a tree-lined boulevard with 70 Arts & Crafts villas sitting in large plots, creating, as Harper’s Magazine declared at the time “one of the noblest streets in the world”.

Eighteen grand lateral apartments have been created at the site of three former mansions, previously used as a convent and girls’ school. The listed front of one of the mansions has been retained, but everything behind is new. Interiors feature classic architectural detailing and minimalist modern design in muted colour tones. Priced from £2.45 million for 999-year leases. Call Knight Frank on 020 7317 7960.

At 42-45 Belsize Park, classic Victorian stucco-fronted villas have been split into eight high-ceiling apartments and two six-bedroom townhouses. From £1.65 million. Call Galliard (020 7620 1500).

The Textile Building, Hackney
From £325,000: new loft apartments at the Textile Building in Hackney. Call 020 3004 4975

Lofty ambitions in Hackney

New lofts are sprouting up outside the Clerkenwell and Shoreditch heartland where the supply of factories and warehouses has been exhausted. Textile Building in Hackney was where Burberry used to make clothes and luxury goods to sell in its West End shops.

The factory, in Chatham Place, in the heart of the “Hackney Village” design district, has been converted into 64 lofts with authentic-looking full-height windows mimicking the original steel-frame Crittal ones so beloved by architects.

Interiors feature exposed brick and concrete walls and white, minimalist kitchens and bathrooms. Prices from £325,000. Call Stirling Ackroyd on 020 3004 4975.

The Brinsmead, Kentish Town
From £600,000: two-bedroom apartments at The Brinsmead, a former piano factory in Kentish Town. Call 020 7399 8600

Kentish Town chic

The Brinsmead is a conversion of a historic Victorian piano factory, once London’s largest, in Kentish Town. Nine two-bedroom apartments and a penthouse range in size from 872sq ft to 1,775sq ft and are priced from £600,000. Call estate agent Pilcher Hershman on 020 7399 8600.

Collège Français, a new private French school, has added to the growing buzz about Kentish Town, which is attracting a new generation of arty Londoners.

One of the capital’s best contemporary-design galleries, Zabludowicz Collection, has opened in the area, and photographer Ian Rankin has his studio here.

ONE58, a new-build scheme in Prince of Wales Road, has nine apartments priced from £350,000. Call 0800 043 2523.

Le Factory, Paris
£354,200: historic cemetery-view flats at Le Factory in Paris (

Dead quiet Parisian apartments

Halloween is a busy time for ghosts, of which none come more celebrated than those said to populate Montmartre Cemetery in Paris — the final resting place of Impressionist artist Edgar Degas, novelist Alexandre Dumas and ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinksy.

Athena Advisors is selling off-plan apartments with a tree-lined view over this much-visited spot in the boho 18th arrondissement and also across to the shimmering white Sacre Coeur.

New on the market, the 76 studio- to four-bedroom apartments at Le Factory, many with outside space, start at £354,200 and are only a few minutes from the metro. Completion is planned for summer next year. Call Athena Advisors on 020 7471 4500, or visit

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