Launched in 1905 in Clapham, by 1932 Freemans had become the largest mail-order firm in the country, with more than 30,000 reps earning commission on sales. After the Second World War it needed 1,000 people to produce its catalogue from a printworks in Stockwell.
Now a thriving online and catalogue clothes and homeware company, Freemans has moved to northern England, leaving its Clapham Road plant ripe for transformation into new homes. Notting Hill Housing and builder Galliard have turned the three main buildings into Impress, a housing scheme set around a public square in a conservation area.
The site includes 35 shared-ownership flats being offered by Notting Hill Housing, which can be viewed for the first time this weekend. The homes will be ready to move into by the end of the year. Designed on clean, modern lines but within the original brick buildings, there are 23 one-bedroom apartments (six duplex) and a dozen two- and three-bedroom flats, all with a look that will be familiar to fans of the cult BBC TV series Mad Men, set in the Fifties and Sixties. The surrounding area, which is in the borough of Lambeth, has plenty of lively bars and shops, with Larkhall and Kennington parks in easy walking distance, and Brixton mainline station 10 minutes’ walk away.
One-bedroom shared-ownership flats start at £259,000, and you need to earn from £27,500 to apply; for a two-bedroom flat (from £320,000) you need to earn from £32,000.
For more information visit nottinghillhousing.org/impress, or to view, call 020 8357 4444.