Candy is dandy for the super-rich buyers flocking to One Hyde Park. Some of the luxed-out 86 apartments, with safe colour schemes of brown leather, beige fabrics and marble, lathered up with lavish accessories, have sold for a record price for London of £6,000 a sq ft — more than double the amount many prime properties in London command. About £900 million of sales have been notched up, allowing the Candy’s CPC Group and its Qatari joint venture partner, to all but repay the £1 billion loan they raised prior to the credit crunch to finance the project.
And for those of us who will just have to be content with admiring the architecture from the outside (if it is the sort you like, of course) then the only real comfort is that the three-year construction chaos caused by the Knightsbridge apartment scheme, that led to gridlock in surrounding roads, may at last be eased.
Despite the global financial meltdown, two-thirds of the apartments have sold, according to estate agents Knight Frank and Savills. Prices of £50 million and £60 million are routinely mentioned, while a penthouse shell is reported to have changed hands for £135 million.
Buyers were subject to rigorous vetting and obliged to pay stage payments equivalent to 40 per cent of purchase price. They will pay off the balance when they take ownership.
24/7 hotel services will be available at the adjoining Mandarin Oriental, which is an integral part of the development, connected by a tunnel and with a team of 55 staff dedicated to One Hyde Park residents.
The Candys bought the site, formerly the Bowater House office block, for £150 million from Land Securities in 2004. They commissioned their favourite architect, Richard Rogers, whose four pavilions design gained planning permission in just 11 months.