Commercial to Residential. Changing the Face of Notting Hill and Bayswater Road.

Notting Hill Gate and Bayswater Road, have for years, retained their linear 1950’s look along the high street and towards Kensington Gardens. In a bid to revive some of these tired buildings, a number of developments set to change the street’s outline are taking place, bringing these buildings into the present and revitalising the colours of Notting Hill’s street scene.

Two major developments are taking place, both of very different nature. At the Notting Hill Gate end, Notting Hill Estate, a predominately commercial development, is undergoing a significant refurbishment, and at Queensway, Park Modern, a prestigious residential building, which will also include some retail units, is under construction on Bayswater Road. Both projects aim to bring more life and commerce back into our area.


Notting Hill Estate

Situated across 3.11 acres in Notting Hill, this Freehold Estate comprises 36 shops and restaurants, 53,500sqft multi-let offices, 145 flats, and 91 parking spaces. Frogmore development and investment firm have begun this huge undertaking consisting of 171,618 sq ft of space,  70% of which is divided into retail units. The Estate comprises several sites along Notting Hill Gate itself. This project will revamp the outlook of 5 office and retail buildings along the road, injecting some colour and updated design into the high street.

Spread over three different project sites, the Estate includes

·      Astley house which houses HSBC, subway, and Barclays bank

·      David Game House, whose current residents include Eat, Pret a Manger, Crispin, and Calder pharmacy.

·      And, on the opposite side of the road, United house, which used to house Jamie Oliver’s restaurant & deli, and Boots, which is still there today. United House also includes numbers 100 to 106 Notting Hill, which houses Itsu, as well as the adjacent block, numbers 114 to 120 where Tesco’s is currently situated, on the ground floor.

The current retail units will remain in place during the work, and it will be interesting to see who will fill the newly refurbished commercial spaces that are being redesigned. There are also rumours of a medium-sized hotel on the United house site, although I have been unable to find concrete information about this so that we will be watching this space.

Although the design for each individual project is slightly different, each will include being raised by an extra floor, and United House on the corner will rise by two additional floors, largely increasing its capacity. These will remain office and retail units with no new residential homes included. They are set to increase job opportunities in the area and to contribute to revamping the face of some of Notting Hill Gates’s buildings.

Squire and Partners, the architects who designed the new facades, have retained the original 1950’s theme of the buildings, which they say is “a key component of the local character and history of Notting hill gate” and that their designs “aim to sensitively integrate new and existing elements” into the present street line. The colours are influenced by nearby Kensington Gardens and remain in keeping with the horizontal lines of the current streetscape. You can get an idea of what the new developments will look like from the impressions provided by Squire and Partners on their website.

The work on Astley House began in the summer of this year and is also set to take around 18 months to complete. The work on the three buildings will be carried out in phases and is estimated to take approximately 21 months in total. Due to the location of the construction, it has been important that this work is carried out with minimal disruption to local business and traffic. Each phase has been carefully considered by Kensington and Chelsea and time scales agreed with the developer, in order to be carried out with a little disturbance to current residents and the busy flow of traffic in Notting Hill.


Park Modern

A bit further down the road, heading towards Marble Arch, along Bayswater road, a different kind of development is taking place. Situated on the corner of Queensway and Bayswater road, the former pub and hostel that span the length of the block to Inverness Terrace are being transformed into luxury housing and retail space. Park Modern is thought to be one of the most exclusive and luxurious residential developments currently being constructed in the capital. Spanning over 190,000 sq ft, this mixed-use development is set to pave the way for Queensway’s transformation into Bayswater village. One of Londons hottest properties, The £450m project by developer Fenton Whelan will contain 30,000 sq of retail space, but its key feature is the top of the range new homes being built,  boasting prime position overlooking Kensington Gardens and the Royal Palace.

This prestigious development will rocket to 9 storeys and to house its 57 luxury apartments, including a super lavish five-bedroom penthouse with double-height ceilings, and comes to a price tag of cool £30 million. At the cheaper end of the spectrum, smaller apartments of 1000 sq ft, without park views, are being marketed around the £2 million mark.  The majority of apartments will feature a balcony overlooking the park, with the most prestigious units comprising a wraparound balcony which comes at a premium. Whatever the aspect, there is no doubt that each apartment will be designed to the highest specification. The buildings will also contain features such as residents’ spa, swimming pool, and private restaurant, which will offer 24hour room service. How’s that for convenience! With such a desirable location and an address which boasts Royalty as neighbours, it is easy to see how this will attract some of the wealthiest clients’ attention.

Not only will this be one of prime central London’s most luxurious residences, but it also boasts a highly desirable address and postcode, a stone’s throw from the royal park and the convenience of the west end on one’s doorstep. A project in its own right, this prestigious development is also set to pave the way for the regeneration of Queensway and the former Whitley’s building which, at the top end of Queensway, is undergoing its own transformation. Designed and planned in conjunction with Westminster Council, who are also contributing to Queensway’s new look and feel, it will be interesting the new face of Queensway, including its new retail plans, spanning from Park Modern to Whiteleys.

To find out about Whitely’s development, click here.

With both Notting Hill Estate and Park Modern currently undergoing major work, it will be interesting to see the results of each project, both in terms of contribution to the area’s commercial activity and retail offering but also to see this much-loved road being revamped and brought into the present through colour and new design.