A lot can change in ten years. Chamberlayne Road, the jugular vein of Kensal Rise that pumps all life between Ladbroke Grove and Willesden Green, was once the drive-by-shooting capital of London. Now, it’s packed with pubs, music venues, boutiques and restaurants and the surrounding streets are populated by a host of celebrity admirers and the aspirational middle-classes that have found themselves priced out of Notting Hill following the housing boom.
This may be Ken Livingstone’s old stomping ground, but it’s also home to David Cameron’s strategy guru Steve Hilton, not to mention Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman who used her high fashion clout to proclaim the street “the hippest in Europe” a few years ago.
In fact, the area’s so sought-after that people are falling over each other trying to get a viewing of this converted church in Kenmont Gardens, NW10, which is currently on the market for just under £10m. “It’s had something like 55,000 hits online, so it’s one of the most highly-viewed properties on our website,” says Oliver Browne from Foxtons’ Willesden Green branch. “I wish there were 55,000 people with enough money to be potential buyers, but it’s mostly just people looking at it and sharing it. I’ve done it myself, sending it to friends going, ‘look, what we’ve got on our books’, because it’s really quite sensational.”
Not much is known about the vendor, who wishes to remain elusive, apart from the fact he’s a wealthy investor who spent around £1m transforming the space from a community sports hall – with basketball court markings on the floors and ropes hanging from the ceiling – into a luxury home spanning three floors and over 6,000sqft of living space.
An impressive open-plan living and dining room with full height ceilings and original stained glass windows takes up the most of the ground floor, with a gym, utility room, an ensuite bedroom and private patio garden with a waterfall off of the main room. Another two ensuite bedrooms are upstairs with access to a mezzanine and the master bedroom ensuite occupies the second floor, boasting not one, but three walk-in wardrobes. Despite the red brick period charm of its exterior, it’s full of modern home comforts, such as air-conditioning and parquet flooring with underfoot heating for when the winter months roll around, smart-tech lighting and electronically-controlled windows.
Located on a quiet sidestreet that’s less than a ten minute walk to Kensal Green station, Kenmont Gardens also leads on to the green itself. So what kind of buyer is this unusual freehold likely to go to?
“When it came onto the market, we called up all the young English pop stars we knew,” says Browne. “We haven’t had international interest, so it will be someone domestic, someone creative in the music industry, someone like that. We’ve had a few artists come for viewings and we had an offer from an art curator who wants to use the space to display their work.”
With it’s cool connections, contemporary stylings and period grandeur, this is truly a godly house.
Kenmont Gardens is on sale for £10m with Foxtons Willesden Green. Call 020 8090 9800 or visit foxtons.co.uk.