Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pass to Pimlico; Elegant New Apartments Are Helping to Transform This Once-Shabby Part of Town, Discovers David Spittles Homes & Property

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pass to Pimlico; Elegant New Apartments Are Helping to Transform This Once-Shabby Part of Town, Discovers David Spittles Homes & Property

Article excerpt

Byline: DAVID SPITTLES

UNDERRATED Pimlico has come a long way since the days of Victorian novelist Anthony Trollope, one of whose fictional young heroines, Lady Amelia in The Small House at Allington, was advised by a worldly guardian to avoid "anywhere beyond Eccleston Square".

The square marked the dividing line between respectable Belgravia and shabby Pimlico. Originally laid out by Thomas Cubitt, Grosvenor Estate's master builder, over time Pimlico's handsome stucco terraces fell into a mix of grubby bedsits, backpacker hotels and brothels.

Gentrification began in the 1970s, after the opening of the Victoria line Tube station. Traffic management followed, creating the "Pimlico Grid" - a network of one-way streets and cul-de-sacs around St George's Drive - and pulling in middleclass families priced out of Chelsea.

Today, Pimlico is changing again, and its waterfront has been discovered by developers. A hidden dock, built by Cubitt to transport materials from the Thames, is being turned into a scheme of 620 apartments called Grosvenor Waterside. Prices range from [pounds sterling]365,000 for a studio to [pounds sterling]1.75 million for an exotic penthouse. Call St James Homes on 020 7828 6326.

Flats are also sprouting up on regeneration sites close to Victoria station.

And luxury apartments are being carved from grand town houses in the area's best garden squares.

St George's Square - vying with Eccleston and Warwick squares - has the advantage of being closest to the river. A Regency mansion at number 121 has been split into six high-quality flats by Tusk Developments.

Interiors have walnut floors, comfortcooling, plasma televisions, automated mood lighting, sliding glass walls, infinity overflow baths, Ferrari-red lacquered kitchens and lots of gizmos.

"Nobody has done anything like it before in the square," says Oliver Gibson, of estate agent WA Ellis, which is using the tag "Knightsbridge on the river" to promote the development - a locational misdescription hoping to convey the flats' high specification. …

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