Evening Standard: We're putting on the biggest show in town
Wed 18 Feb 2015
An 8 billion project to regenerate Earls Court will bring 7,500 new homes to central London, discovers Anthea Masey.
Earls Court is at the centre of one of the biggest redevelopments in London. There was a time not so long ago when it was a neighbourhood of tatty bedsits and cheap hotels. It was more famous for its Art Deco exhibition centre directly opposite the Warwick Road entrance to Earl's Court tube station than the quality of its housing stock.
However, the bedsits and hotels have been largely swept away and replaced by spacious flats to rival those in nearby South Kensington.
The famous exhibition centre closed in December. It is to be replaced by an 8 billion scheme that will replace the two exhibition halls, the exhibition car park, a Transport for London repair depot and two council estates. The result will be the creation of a neighbourhood stretching from Warwick Road in the east to the North End Road.
Over the next 15 years, Capital & Counties Properties (Capcp), the developer, working from a Sir Terry Farrell masterplan, is proposing to build 7,500 new homes, of which 1,500 will be affordable, with a new high street running through the centre.
Layouts are planned to work sympathetically with much of the traditional architecture of squares, and mansion blocks that make up large parts of the wider area of Earls Court.
A new primary school will be build and 5million worth of improvements will be made to the West Brompton station, including lengthening the platforms.
The imposing Empress State Building will be vacated by the Metropolitan Police in 2019 and converted into an additional 500 homes.
Capco is a UK company, working with a UK team. There will be a large sporting and leisure centre in the middle of the new estate. Prices start at 595,000 in the first phase, called Lillie Square, already being sold off-plan, with pent-houses of 1.5million.
Earls Court is three miles from central London with the busy Cromwell Road to the north; South Kensington and Chelsea to the West; Fulham to the South and West Kensington and Barons Court to the east. The almost equally busy Warwick Road runs through the area.
It has garden squares and roads of red brick mansion flats and large four and five-storey terrace houses. There is also an enclave of smaller terrace houses in the area known as Kenway Village around Kenway Road to the east of Earls Court Road. There are also several mews tucked away. Estate agent Marsh & Parsons describes the area as electric.
"Earls Court is definitely flatland, but flats range from large 3,000sqft mansion flats to studios selling for around 350,000, and price per square foot can vary from 950 a square foot for a basement flat in the less favoured roads west of Earls Court Road to as much as 2,400 a square foot for a first floor flat in Barkston Gardens."
Best roads: The garden squares to the east of Earls Court Road; Bramham Gardens, Barkston Gardens and Courtfield Gardens.