A mixed-use £450 million (US$58.25 million) London development overlooking Kensington Palace—the residence of the new Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle— has been unveiled by developer Fenton Whelan.
The 57-unit development, called Park Modern, will have 190,000 square feet of residential and commercial space, 130,000 of which will be dedicated to the homes, according to a news release Monday. The apartments will start at £2 million (US$2.6 million), and the higher-end homes are expected by Fenton Whalen to be the most expensive ever built on the northern boundary of Kensington Gardens.
With demolition of existing offices, shops and cafes already underway, Fenton Whelan plans to break ground on construction in October. The project is expected to take three years to complete, with the first phase of home sales by the developer launching in September. The second phase will likely be administered by brokers once the development is nearly complete.
Park Modern will offer a “striking landmark facade with floor-to-ceiling windows, balconies and rooftop terraces,” according to a news release. “The project provides a dramatic double height hotel-like entrance foyer, 57 one-to-five bedroom residences including duplex penthouses; and trophy commercial space, including a luxury retail boutique, signature restaurant and VIP health spa/club.” The private residences are expected to range in price from £2 million-£30 million (US$2.6 million to US$38.8 million).
“I’ve done this for 25 years, and I haven’t seen something this upscale; it’s quite exciting,” said Alex Lawrie, director of Lawrie Cornish, a public relations firm representing Fenton Whelan. “From the terrace, you can see right into the Royal Gardens.”
In conjunction with the development, Fenton Whelan plans to enhance the surrounding public spaces, too, with new Royal Gates opening into Kensington Gardens, which neighbor the development. “The final design and name will have to be approved by Buckingham Palace, all the way to Her Majesty,” Mr. Lawrie said. The gardens, covering 270 acres, are part of the Royal Parks of London. They earned a Grade I designation on England’s Register of Historic Parks and Gardens, highlighting their historical significance.
Additionally, the developers are set to work on a new public plaza, enhanced street frontages, public artwork, widened pavements, and improved lighting and landscaping.