A slice of Knightsbridge by Westminster Bridge
While many players in London’s luxury property market undergo a period of retrenchment, our development, VI Castle Lane is going all-out to bring West End interiors to a secluded Victoria inlet.
There’s no doubting it – the capital’s luxury property market is changing fast. Once an apparently indomitable titan of the global real estate world, it was a sector characterised by a sense of its own glamour and power. From the glittering towers of One Hyde Park, complete with panic rooms and bullet-proof glass, to the stucco-fronted mansions of Belgravia and Chelsea boasting marble flooring and crystal chandeliers.
…Before the storm
Then came the financial crash, the European debt crisis, the Arab Spring, Brexit and Donald Trump, and suddenly residential conservatism was the order of the day, as developers feared investor confidence would decline and Prime London demand dry up. Gone was the expansive vision held by many in the sector to bring the quality and style that had long been monopolised by a gilded crescent stretching from Chelsea to St. James’s Park to other parts of the city.
Such caution has proved misplaced. Research from Savills indicates that property investors from around the globe are in fact increasing their activity in the London property market. Since July 2016 (post-Brexit and during the uncertainty of the American election and subsequent Trump presidency), investors from America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia have poured over £11 billion into the UK capital’s real estate, with Asian and Middle Eastern investors upping their money by 16% and 25% respectively.
So there’s definitely plenty of interest out there. However, where the current market differs to that of the 2006/7 period is that the product has to be special. It is no longer enough to construct an average development in a Prime area and wait for the buyers to roll in, there has to be an eye-catcher involved: be it bespoke furniture, rare materials or outstanding “extras” such as concierge service.
Sadly, this sort of inventiveness and quality of craftsmanship is scarcely found outside the thin area of the capital covered by Mayfair, Belgravia et al. – and thus returns the original puzzle of how high-specification luxury property can expand from its redoubt on the North-West bank of the Thames.
A Prime contender
We at Sons & Co. are taking the challenge head-on; we are a luxury development firm with a twist – seeking to bring what one might term “Knightsbridge quality” interior design to parts of Prime London with the potential to grow in prestige.
Having already worked our magic on a development in Holborn, Pinks Mews, turning 15th Century dyers buildings into a set of beautifully finished apartments, we have done it again with our latest project, VI Castle Lane, a 31-unit development in Victoria, compiling 28 apartments and three townhouses ranging from one, two and three beds.
In recent decades, Victoria has garnered (fairly or unfairly) the reputation as something of a transport hub, largely owing to the area’s national rail and coach station. With recent investment from both the government and private stakeholders, this is a perception that is rapidly changing. Even so, the area has rarely experienced a scheme of VI Castle Lane’s standard.
The interiors are stunning. Crafted by boutique design firm Cocouara, Castle Lane’s show apartment is a softly-lit space featuring delicate furnishings whose mix of royal blue and earthy hues signal both luxury and modernity. Our designers’ attention-to-detail is meticulous and fully worthy of a super prime home. Tasteful décor such as a crystal glass martini set, a collection of hardback Vogue covers and the odd modernist painting adorn the living room, while incense, textured walls and bespoke lamps complete the bedrooms.
Alongside the fundamental luxury property materials that Castle Lane enjoys such as hand-crafted wood, marble and stone, we have been careful to add something extra to give the development an edge normally reserved for super prime developments. We took advantage of the positioning on one of Victoria’s prettiest avenues (the eponymously-named Castle Lane) by crafting full-length glass panels for each unit in the building.
As an additional design feature we have also included a number of beautifully bespoke crafted full-length curved glass windows, which is normally an incredibly difficult and costly feat for developers to manufacture and install, so they tend to avoid it altogether. But we wanted to create something special and the effects are immense, with prospective residents enjoying a wide panorama of Castle Lane, Victoria, and the wider Westminster area through the convex apertures.
Such care and creative flourish is seldom found outside Super Prime London, which is what makes VI Castle Lane so refreshing, and, with prices starting at £825,000 (not £8.25 million, as one might expect), it’s also a great investment opportunity for someone looking for super prime without a super price tag.
The show apartment for VI Castle Lane is open; to arrange a viewing contact our agents at Strutt & Parker on +44 (0)20 7318 4677, or visit the development’s website to register your interest and find out more http://www.vicastlelane.com/