Bountiful Bayswater


With its rejuvenation of new developments and luxe properties, Natalie Flaum explores why Bayswater offers a refreshingly leafy alternative to its highbrow London neighbours

With streets lined with Victorian stucco-fronted terraces, pretty communal garden squares and Hyde Park as its back garden, Bayswater’s appeal is wide-spread. Once considered to be a high-class neighbourhood up until World War II, with many of its buildings in the post-war period becoming rundown, real urbanisation began with The Whiteley the arrival of the railway in Paddington in 1838, when plain cottages were the first properties to be built, to house railway workers and modest homes for the area’s earliest residents. As the area grew more affluent, properties became grander and the smart Italianate terraces of the1850s and ornate piles dating from around 1890 are still among the most desirable homes in the area.

Bayswater spent much of the 20th century in decline, with decaying residences either being split up into bedsits or converted into budget hotels. However, influxes of Middle Eastern, American and Brazilian populations, as well as government money, have helped transform the district into the cosmopolitan part of London that it is today. Interest has increased further in recent years with the arrival of new transport links - the recently opened Crossrail line, adjacent to the existing Paddington National Rail, where passengers can travel from Paddington to Liverpool Street in9 minutes, Canary Wharf in 16 minutes and Abbey Wood in 27 minutes.

The regeneration of Whiteleys will boost 1 million square feet of mixed-use development and provide 153residential apartments and town houses, a 110-key hotel with restaurants and spa, a 32,000 square foot gym, 75,000 square feet of prime retail and parking. The original Grade II listed facade, central courtyard and dome of the former Whiteleys will be restored, as will the majestic internal staircase which features as the centrepiece on the ground floor of the hotel. Many are referring to this as the Covent Garden of the West.

Park Modern is a super-prime development set to completely transform Queensway, which has already undergone £5m worth of upgrades to the roads and pavements. With 52 apartments, 3 penthouses and 2 mews houses with south-facing views across Hyde Park and Kensington Palace Gardens, Park Modern is located in a sought after part of Bayswater. Residents enjoy 24-hoursecurity and concierge services, valet parking, a residents lounge, cinema and a world-class spa with a 25m pool, salon, treatment room and gym. One of the standout apartments is the spectacular penthouse, which occupies the entire top floor and boasts an extraordinary and expansive 2,438square foot outdoor area with 360-degree views of London, including Hyde Park, Royal Albert Hall and Kensington Gardens and the iconic skyline.

Yazmin Murat, Associate in the Prime Central London Developments team at Knight Frank comments: “Park Modern is a spectacular residential development on Hyde Park, overlooking the gardens of Kensington Palace. The large floor-to-ceiling windows flood the residences with natural light and frame spectacular south-facing views of the Royal Park and London’s iconic skyline.”

While billionaires of old may have looked exclusively in Belgravia, Knightsbridge and Mayfair areas which count four of the UK’s 10 most expensive streets between them, the 32sales of luxury central London homes in 2021, had a total value of £773 million, with Belgravia and Knightsbridge inSW1 coming out top of the prime addresses with 14 sales, followed by Mayfair in W1.

“The multi-millionaires and billionaires buying trophy houses and penthouses in London are getting younger,” adds Jeremy Gee of Beauchamp Estates. “They want value-for-money alongside luxury and because they are not postcode snobs, they are happy to purchase beyond the boundaries of SW1 and W1 in locations such as Whitehall, Bayswater, Soho and Notting Hill.”

Diana Tran, Associate Director, UK Sotheby’s International Realty comments: “Situated in the centre of West London and close to popular locations such as Notting Hill, Westbourne Grove, Hyde Park, Paddington and Mayfair, the W2 postcode was originally known for its B&B’s, tourist stores and very average restaurants. However, over the years, Bayswater has transformed itself into an enviable postcode and with the £2 billion regeneration of Queensway/Bayswater well underway, the area is set to become a true rival to its neighbours.”

Claire Reynolds, Head of Savills Mayfair, comments: “Bayswater is definitely one to watch – despite being so central, buyers can still expect to find value here – and everything that’s happening in terms of regeneration in the wider area will help make it somewhere exciting for people to live, visit and work. It’s somewhere that’s increasingly coming under the spotlight and people who are house-hunting in nearby areas like Notting Hill or Mayfair are beginning to actively and seriously look at Bayswater as somewhere to call home. There’s also a real range of property – as well as new developments coming through, the residential scene includes smart townhouses on under the radar garden squares, conversions, pretty mews houses and apartments in mansion blocks. The fact that you have Hyde Park on your doorsteps well as world-class shopping and restaurants close-by is another big draw. It’s an area that attracts a wide range of buyers too, including pied-a-terre purchasers needing good rail connections via Paddington, downsizers wanting a base near to London’s lifestyle offering, families wanting a home with a sense of community and those coming from overseas who are after a property in the heart of prime central London.”

With the imminent arrival of luxury developments Park Modern by Fenton Whelan and The Whiteley by Finchatton include the UK’s first Six Senses Hotel bringing wellness and mindful living to a vibrant and growing community, Bayswater is set to become one of London’s newest ‘hot spots’.

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