Which celebrities have moved to newly trendy Regent’s Park?
PUBLISHED: 15:37 16 September 2016 | UPDATED: 15:37 16 September 2016
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With it’s iconic architecture, palatial homes and chic shops on its doorstep, Regent’s Park has become popular with the rich and famous
Wealthy celebrities have flocked to Regent’s Park, snapping up palatial homes on the grand terraces.
Tom Ford has bought a property in York Terrace, and fellow fashion designer Stefano Gabbana of Dolce and Gabbana has a home on Regent’s Park Road.
Meanwhile the artist Damien Hirst favours Hanover Terrace, where he reportedly spent £34 million on his 14 bedroom villa overlooking the boating lake, whilst comedian Sasha Baron Cohen has acquired a property on Chester Terrace. One can only imagine the parties that are thrown when they’re all in town at the same time.
Legendary parties are of course regularly thrown by the american ambassador Matthew Barzun and his wife, Brooke, who reside in Winfield House. Notable guests of parties past include David Cameron, Taylor Swift and Cara Delevigne.
The area has fallen in and out of fashion over the years, but in recently it has had a renaissance.
Mark Pollack, director of Aston Chase said: “The redevelopment of Cornwall Terrace acted as a ‘game changer’, which kick-started the repositioning of Regent’s Park from a historically important but undervalued location back into one of London’s most sought after residential addresses.”
Originally the hunting chase of Henry VIII, development of properties around the park first began in 1818, when the Prince Regent at the time George decided on the park as the location of his summer palace residence.
The palace itself was never built, as by 1820 he had been crowned George IV and moved into Buckingham Palace, but the Royal Crescent composed of the ten terraces designed by the star Regency architect John Nash still stand today.
The Crescent was popular with the movers and shakers of the day, with the Earl of Derby, Lord Houston-Boswell and Count Joseph-Napoleon Bonaparte - Napoleon’s older brother - all buying property in the Park.
The Post War period saw the Park’s star fade due to a combination of economic downturn and a shifting social landscape, and with the City and West End bombed out by the Blitz many of the terraces were converted into offices.
The oil and gas boom of the 1970’s bought a new wave of royal investment, this time from the Saudi, Brunei and Kuwait regencies, but without the fashionable amenities of nearby Knightsbridge and Mayfair the Park lacked star pulling power.
By 2005 Aston Chase calculates that a third of the properties in Regent’s Park were used for commercial purposes, with unmodernised apartments on short term leases fetching a relatively paltry £1,000 per sq ft.
This all changed with the announcement by the freeholder that vendors and developers could obtain new 150 year leases instead of the previous 60 year limit. Suddenly the Park was once again an attractive prospect.
The aforementioned Cornwell Terrace acted as a catalyst. Converted back from offices to townhouse mansions priced between £29 million and £80 million they commanded a reported £3,000 per sq ft. This was later topped by Amazon Property’s development of 5 Portland Place, which went for £3,100 per sq ft.
It wasn’t just the investment opportunities that heralded the return of the wealthy elite to the area. Simon Deen, director at Aston Chase said: “Alongside the new developments in the park, the two local shopping streets - Marylebone High Street and Chiltern Street – underwent a luxury makeover. This has provided Regent’s Park residents with chic cafes, restaurants, luxury boutiques and the ultra-cool Chiltern Firehouse Hotel on their doorstep.”
If you fancy a slice of Regent’s Park life - and neighbours like Ford, Hirst, Gabbana et al - and have deep pockets then you’re in luck. Next month is set to see the launch of 20 new ultra prime apartments as part of Amazon Propery’s new development The Park Crescent.
Competition will be fierce, though. Mr Pollack said: “In the current marketplace serious buyers are seeking quality and are attracted to Regent’s Park because supply will always be limited, the location is outstanding, and the quality of newly development homes for sale is genuinely best in class.”