Having spent nearly a century providing electricity for the London Underground network, Lots Road Power Station in Chelsea – built in 1905 and decommissioned in 2002 – is now driving the property market.
Reborn and rebranded as ‘Powerhouse’, it is home to 260 luxuriously appointed apartments as well as some commercial space. The waterfront residential offering includes multi-level penthouses with near 360° views of the Thames and London – yours for £7million, I’m told.
Farrells, the architect firm responsible, reveals that the development benefits from a feature not present in London’s two other great 20th-century power stations: Bankside (now the Tate Modern) and Battersea.
‘What makes it unique, in terms of power-station living, is that the Powerhouse itself, when it was built, had glazed windows,’ gushes project partner Shevaughn Rieck. ‘It means that, through refurbishing [them], there’s an ability to bring a lot of natural light into it in a way that you don’t have with other power-station living.’
The development is due to be completed this year, with prices beginning at £1.7 million.
A question of taste
The opening of a new restaurant – the Wolseley City, near Cannon Street tube station – might have been a controversial occasion. Following news that the original Wolseley’s co-creator Jeremy King had been ousted from his own business, several high-profile friends leapt to his defence. Broadcaster Robert Peston, for one, publicly declared that he would never go to the restaurants again.
Fortunately for Minor Hotels International – the business that got rid of King – other members of the media clearly don’t feel the same way. Editor of the Independent Geordie Greig, Evening Standard editor Dylan Jones, Jo Elvin of the Mail’s Palace Confidential show, former Condé Nast president Nicholas Coleridge and author Nimco Ali were all in attendance to raise a glass to the new power-lunch venue.
In such company, I was all the more heartened to hear another guest, the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, single out this publication for praise. ‘Oh, I like Spear’s,’ she tells me. A woman of good taste, clearly.
Hot on the heels of Ayesha Vardag, Spear’s-rated property adviser Jo Eccles of Eccord has landed a column in The Daily Telegraph, a monthly outing in its money section, writing about prime and super-prime property.
Does this herald a new media career for Eccles – perhaps an outing on Netflix, which is teeming with thrusting white-toothed property gurus?
‘I’ve been asked to do them so many times and always turn them down,’ says Eccles. ‘No, there’s no TV aspirations for the time being. I think our clients would have a fit.’