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PrimeResi Quarterly Journal

The handbook of the luxury property industry

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PRQ7

Mayfair Play: £2 billion Audley Square scheme recommended for approval

Plans to turn a grotty Mayfair car park into a 296,000 square foot neo-classical scheme worth an estimated £2bn have received the initial thumbs up from Westminster planners. Print PDFThese articles are...

Plans to turn a grotty Mayfair car park into a 296,000 square foot neo-classical scheme worth an estimated £2bn have received the initial thumbs up from Westminster planners.

The proposed transformation of the “utilitarian” Audley Square site into 30 super-prime resi units with five-star leisure facilities has been recommended for approval by council officers, paving the way for one of the world’s most ambitious luxury projects.

Mobile phone mogul John Caudwell and US architecture practice Robert A.M. Stern are behind the mega-scheme, which is already being tipped to become “London’s most exclusive address”.

The existing six-storey structure dates back to 1962 and has been the subject of a number of proposals over the years. Finally, however, provided some conditions are met (including a £9.4m affordable housing provision), the Portland stone-clad “Audley Square House” should soon rise nine storeys above ground and turn a pricey parking spot into Mayfair’s long-awaited answer to One Hyde Park.

The proposals allow for an underground swimming pool and gymnasium, plus the creation of roof terraces, car parking, cycle parking and access from Waverton Street. As for the 200,000 square feet of resi, there’s 5×1 beds, 4×3 beds, 9×4 beds, 2×5 beds, 7×6 beds, 1×7 bed and 1×8 bed arranged as five townhouses, three penthouses, a mews home and 21 luxury apartments.

The proposed sizes range from 59 square metres to 1375 square metres, which means there’s going to be a 14,800 square foot eight-bed monster in there. Each penthouse will have its own lift, gym and pool, and the biggest will sprawl across 13,401 square feet. Bear in mind that Luxlo tickled £7,000 per square foot over the road at 77 Mayfair earlier this year…

Interestingly, the planning report states that the Residents’ Society of Mayfair and St James’s “object to the Classical design approach and consider that a more modern design would be better”. The Council defended the design as being of a “high quality” but added that it “fails to respond well to its location within the Mayfair Conservation area and to the adjacent listed buildings”. On balance though, the planners concluded that “the public benefits of the scheme are sufficient to outweigh the less than substantial harm”.

The application is going before the planning committee next week.

Check out the plans and full sub committee report here

Further Reading: The car parks concealing £1.3bn of prime resi development land

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