Return of London’s mansions: The former homes of aristocrats are being converted

Connaught Place, Marble Arch, £11.75m
It isn’t often that a prestigious street in London falls out of favour. You won’t see a regeneration of Eaton Square or the King’s Road any time soon. But Connaught Place, a handsome street lined with Georgian mansion blocks overlooking Hyde Park, was the Belgravia of pre-war London and it’s experiencing a resurgence in popularity.
Originally built in 1807-1812 by architect Graham Taylor, it was the pet project of John Lewis – no, not that one – a wealthy surgeon turned housing developer. The Grade-II listed mansions were named after Prince William Frederick, the Earl of Connaught and a great-grandson of King George II.
In its day, its residents were exclusively Ladies, Lords, Earls, Dukes and even Caroline, the Princess of Wales at No 7. At the beginning of the 20th century, a new generation of politicians and socialites moved in, including Lord Randolph Churchill who brought up his son Winston at No 2. After World War Two, London was crying out for smart office space for up-and-coming businesses and the mansions were turned into multi-let offices.
The success of London’s super-prime property market in recent years has seen an influx of these grand mansion restoration projects, from Hyde Park’s The Lancasters to Belgravia’s Cornwall Terrace, which are a great investment opportunity on the international market. “The location remains undervalued compared to adjoining Marylebone and Mayfair,” says Martin Bikhit, managing director of joint sales agent Kay & Co. “The Hyde Park estate is a natural sister address to Belgravia on the other side of the park and we anticipate there will be a long term rise in values in the district.”
Now, Nos 5 & 6 Connaught Place are being restored to their original use. It speaks to the grandeur of the original residences that two of the addresses are being converted into seven two, three and four bedroom apartments worth at least £11.75m each – the seventh residence is a 6,251sqft duplex with private gardens on the ground and lower-ground levels.
All the residences overlook Hyde Park and the high spec interiors are the most luxurious ever commissioned by developer Redrow London. In addition to period features like high ceilings and sash windows, most of the apartments will have a study, a dining room seating 12-14 people, a concierge service from Harrods Estates and a home entertainment system supplied by Grant Harris, who kits out professional recording studios in Hollywood and yachts for the rich and famous.
Contact Penelope Court at Beauchamp Estates on 020 3441 5941 or Martin Bikhit at Kay & Co on 020 7262 2030 or visit connaughtplaceresidences.com.

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