As London property prices continue to rise, developers and investors are increasingly seeking opportunities to acquire commercial space in fashionable and upcoming areas.
One of the key hotspots of interest has now become Marylebone, largely due to the impact of the Chiltern Firehouse, a New York-style brasserie which has attracted numerous famous names and caused both commercial and residential property prices in the area to soar.
The Grade II listed former fire station first hit the headlines when hotel magnate Andre Balazs acquired the property with a view to transforming it into one of London’s most attractive nightlife spots.
Since then, the Chiltern Firehouse has become a regular haunt for London’s celebrities, with the likes of Cara Delevinge, Kate Moss, Lily Allen (pictured) and Simon Cowell frequently seen at the establishment.
Even Prime Minister David Cameron and former US President Bill Clinton have been spotted at the Firehouse, earning it the title of “London’s hottest restaurant” – an accolade which has benefited the wider Marylebone area in terms of property prices and rents.
Christian Lock-Newcrews, of local estate agent Knight Frank, confirms that rents in the immediate vicinity of the Chiltern Firehouse have risen by more than 10 per cent since the trendy venue opened its doors in February. This is more than double the rate of increase seen in any other area of central London.
“The sheer number of column inches generated by the Chiltern Firehouse has proved a powerful draw, with many clients name checking the restaurant,” he explained to the Evening Standard.
“Marylebone has been put on the map in the past year with a number of sales in excess of £10 million for the first time – the continued investment from the Howard de Walden estate has transformed the area into one of quirky upmarket boutiques and fine dining.”
He also points out that the plethora of famous faces have widened the area’s scope for international investment, thus raising the prestige of the area and pushing rents up still further.
He continues; “The vast majority of both sales clients and tenants are British in Marylebone, as it still retains an element of one of London’s best kept secrets, but now with the celebrity connection, enquiries are coming from as far afield as Russia, Brazil, the US and China.”
The “Firehouse effect” has also had a beneficial impact upon residential prices in the area, with the rich and famous queuing up to purchase homes in Marylebone. This is certainly a further boon for businesses, as the consumer pool within the area has rocketed and thus allowed businesses to invest into growth and redevelopment as a means of taking advantage of the newly fashionable district’s appeal.
Sales director of Galliard Homes, David Galman, says; “Since the Chiltern Firehouse opened prices have jumped from £2,700 per square foot to over £3,000 per square foot.
“Chiltern Street has become the Mount Street of Marylebone, a luxury address frequented by celebrities and the rich and famous.
“All the beautiful people want to be seen on Chiltern Street which is why the restaurant is jam packed, all the local bars and restaurants are buzzing and homes for sale on the doorstep are flying out of the door.”
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