Whenever Primelocation has been shopping in around Knightsbridge in recent years it’s been obvious that something big was cooking within the huge construction site on the junction where the Brompton Road, Sloane Street and Kensington Road converge, slowly replacing a drab office building.
From its early days the name of designers Christian and Nick Candy were headlined as the stylists behind the project, which soon had a name, too – One Hyde Park – as well as the involvement of architect Richard Rogers, best known among other things as the designer of Channel 4’s striking HQ near the Houses of Parliament.
But what has really made this apartment development famous are the prices being demanded for its properties. As early as February 2008, when the site was still rubble and diggers, prices for the largest of the penthouse apartments were being reported as in excess of £100m and while the housing boom continued sales were healthy – Nick Candy claimed to have sold properties worth £767 million in the first phase and, after the lull that followed the near collapse of the world banking system, more last year pushing up the total to a billion.
So for the people who have already bought here, or those that may be considering it, what’s on offer? The 86 apartments within the site are best described as super prime and are within four blocks or ‘pavilions’ all with spectacular views over Hyde Park, Sloane Street, Harrods and the London skyline.
The complex, which is being operated by hotel chain Mandarin International, includes a private cinema, 21m swimming pool, saunas, steam rooms, squash court, gym – and at the less prosaic end of the luxury market, a golf simulator, wine cellars, library, 60 on-site staff and their own Rolex shop.
Such luxurious surroundings mean even the smallest, one-bedroom apartment starts at £6.5 million – as much as a five-bedroom detached house a couple of miles away in the richer suburbs of the capital – and rapidly rise to £140 million for the most expensive penthouse apartment, although this hasn’t stopped some of the world’s richest people buying, including the prime minister of Qatar.