Baker Street is to get a Marylebone-style makeover that will transform it into a Continental-type boulevard with pavement cafés, boutiques and luxury homes offering new residents a sought-after address and an ultra-stylish central London life on their doorstep.
'Baker Street is becoming like Mayfair but more relaxed'
The new terrace of modern mews houses, unveiled this week, on the site of the former Marks & Spencer headquarters, is the street’s first new residential development in a generation.
A century ago it had so much cachet that Sherlock Holmes, the fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, “lodged” at number 221B, an address that never actually existed.
Westminster planners welcomed the development as a chance to consolidate recent changes and establish the identity of the area. The mews joins Galvins, a fashionable “bistro deluxe”, that is attracting West End residents. It will be joined by high-end furniture store Hulsta Rolf Benz to establish the glossy village atmosphere of Marylebone.
The mews houses back onto a new mixed-use office and retail scheme built by developer London & Regional and are for rent rather than for sale, starting at £1,000 a week. They are modern-design homes with floor-to-ceiling glass walls.
“For many years Baker Street has been a through-route rather than a destination, but the area is changing fast,” says Esther Collins of estate agent Knight Frank. “It’s becoming like Mayfair but more relaxed.”
When laid out in the 18th century, Baker Street was a top London neighbourhood, within strolling distance of both Hyde Park and Regent’s Park. During the 20th century commercial buildings replaced genteel Georgian housing and after the Blitz, there followed a new wave of mainly anonymous-looking office blocks.
London & Regional’s £400 million redevelopment of the old M&S site has provided a new headquarters for accountants BDO Stoy Hayward plus street-level retail space and a Fitness First gym.