20 January 2011

I Used to Go There …….

I’ve had so many complaints about stopping my blog postings that I’ve relented a bit. I say, ‘a bit’ because I never said I was giving it up completely, I said I would post occasionally if there was something worth writing about.

It appears that many of you feel lost without my blog in the background as your morning coffee is being made, or if you’re in an office and you are preparing for the day ahead or, more likely, if you can’t get to sleep at night! This is all very complimentary (I think) but as I said previously, the 5-times a week blog is probably gone, unless of course, a rich seam of material suddenly becomes available.

I had actually noted this item down as a potential posting a few months ago but had never got around to writing it but as the launch of ‘One Hyde Park’ takes place in London today, it seems like a good time to put it down in print.

One Hyde Park – the most expensive apartments on the planet with the top one costing a whopping £140 million, $200 million or about €160 million!

You may recall a posting I did a few weeks back about house prices down here (http://tomsfrenchblog.blogspot.com/2010/12/house-prices-we-talk-about-them-here-as.html)  and the fact that Monaco led the world with a price of €45,000 per sq metre, well One Hyde Park completely obliterates that with an average price of about €60,000 per sq metre.

Why am I writing about more house prices? Well, One Hyde Park has a special place in my heart – albeit, back then it was the Bowater Building, a totally nondescript glass and steel framed office block which, when compared with the buildings around it, made it stand out as one of those ‘carbuncles’ (a Prince Charles phrase) which makes you wonder why it ever got planning permission.  

I had to visit a company there not long after I got my first Sales Managers job in IBM and just going into the building was depressing. I remember thinking at the time that I would have hated to have worked there. In the event, we actually did business with the company concerned and I had to spend quite a bit of time at One Hyde Park.

Now, and after a relatively short development phase, the Monaco based, but London active Candy Brothers have transformed the building. I’m still not too sure about the exterior but the interiors look amazing, helped in no small way by the magnificent views over – yup, Hyde Park.
The Old Bowater Buiding

Here are some details of what you get for £140 million:

Prices start at £6.5m for a simple one-bedroom flat and rise to £140m for one of the penthouses. The prices, averaging about £6,000 a square foot, are the highest ever paid for residential space, according to property experts.

As well as interiors designed by the Candys, residents at the highly anticipated development can call on valets, a concierge and butler room service from the next-door Mandarin Oriental hotel’s two restaurants, overseen by Heston Blumenthal and Daniel Boulud.

The buildings have shared features including a cinema, a 21m swimming pool, saunas, a gym, a golf simulator and a wine cellar. There are eye-scanners in the lifts and panic rooms for added security.

The build included 15 different types of stone and marble specially sourced from Turkey, Italy, Brazil, China and Egypt; and £50m of "sparkly" concrete with limestone aggregate.

When the brothers started the project four years ago, it attracted criticism for being too extravagant and expensive. With the onslaught of the credit crisis, many believed that the development would never sell, but the Candys claim that 60pc of the 83 apartments have already been snapped up, mainly by foreign buyers from the Middle East and Asia.

Hurry, there’s obviously a few left if you want to reserve one!

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