Covent Garden neighbourhood back to its old splendour

Covent Garden neighbourhood back to its old splendour

Office buildings, shops and restaurants are being bought in the area

Covent Garden is a must for London visitors: it is a great tourist destination attracting more than 46 million visitors – art, music, culture and history lovers - mainly coming from all over Europe.

The neighbourhood is going to be brought back its old splendour thanks to real estate investments made by companies such as Capco (Capital & Counties) since 2006: in order to enhance the development of the area, the company has bought office buildings, shops and restaurants in Covent Garden’s square and in the surrounding streets. By doing this, it has contributed in giving new life to a neighbourhood that risked becoming a mere mass tourism destination.

Capco has bought 90 thousand square metres for 1.17 billion euros and has engaged in attracting prime-market brands such as Apple – which has opened its biggest store – and Chanel – that has opened its first shop entirely dedicated to perfumes and beauty preparations. Nonetheless, the typical “bohemian” atmosphere has been preserved: at the local market, it is possible to find silver jewels and hand-made jumpers as well as steaming-hot wafers or candy floss.

Capco’s attention has then moved to upper floors to make Covent Garden a residential neighbourhood again. Many office spaces have been converted into apartments for buyers who are looking for comfortable housing solutions in the heart of London, where it is not necessary to take the car or public means to move, as it is very easy to go anywhere on foot. What about prices? Opera-enthusiast English buyers have bought four apartments in The Henrietta palace for 22 thousand pounds per square metre. The price of penthouses rises to 36 thousand pounds per square metre.

Encouraged by the great success of the initiative, the company has started the renovation of the Russel that was built in 1887. The imposing façade had been preserved, but the interiors had been converted into office spaces. After a long restoration work the high period ceilings, the majestic staircase and original architectural details have been brought back to their old splendour. Three different designers have designed the interiors by giving their own interpretation to space: Joanna Wood has created a very “British” ambiance with light wood and neutral colours in the 7.5-million-pound 243-sqm penthouse, which boasts a roof with terrace and a spectacular uninterrupted view over Covent Garden square; Nicola Fontanella has given a contemporaneous look to the third-floor 193-sqm 5.5-million-pound apartment, opting for chromium-plated touches; Spring&Mercer has transformed the first-floor 214-sqm apartment into a New York-style loft. The remaining two apartments available have been left empty to allow potential buyers to customize them.

Main source: IlSole24Ore

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