Great Portland Estates (GPE) is a FTSE 250 property-investment and development company. We own more than £3 billion of real estate in central London and are proud to create in-demand spaces that people want to be part of—helping occupiers, local communities and the city to thrive.
Our latest project to complete is Rathbone Square in Fitzrovia. It is our largest scheme to date: a mixed-use development offering high-quality apartments and commercial space set around one of the first public squares to be opened up in central London for more than 100 years. In total, it delivers 414,000 square feet, including 140 private residences, as well as 253,500 square feet of office and retail space for the area.
Rathbone Square is a unique proposition in the marketplace, offering a rare opportunity to experience innermost London life. We transformed the former Royal Mail Sorting Office and have created a new space for residents and the public, contributing to the wider enhancement of this part of the West End whilst respecting Fitzrovia’s unique feel.
Fitzrovia is undergoing huge changes, and we are proud to have been a leader in its transformation. The announcement of Tottenham Court Road station’s £1 billion redevelopment and the arrival of a new Crossrail hub was a major game-changer. We saw this as an exciting opportunity to create a new place for the area. In addition to bringing new homes and commercial space, Rathbone Square has re-opened parts of Fitzrovia that had historically been closed off to the public, introducing new connections via covered pathways linking Rathbone Place and Newman Street.
Our vision for the site was to bring together the best in design. We appointed award-winning international practice Make to lead the architecture and high-quality interiors for the residential component. Make’s design carefully stitches Rathbone Square into the surrounding fabric of the streets and the eclectic Fitzrovian architecture, which mixes Victorian, Georgian and Edwardian styles, whilst also celebrating the individuality of the area.
We launched Rathbone Square to the market back in 2014, and it has been a huge success with both domestic and international buyers. There are 140 homes, which include studios, one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom homes, as well as a number of duplex and triplex penthouses. Each apartment has rare outdoor spaces, and a select number have access to private roof terraces. We are incredibly proud that the scheme is now 99 percent sold. Our final phase is the Penthouse Collection, which has recently been unveiled to the market. It offers buyers something really special: the chance to call one of the capital’s most exciting and evolving neighbourhoods home and enjoy remarkably designed living inside and out. The collection comprises remarkable four-bedroom duplexes located on the seventh and eighth floors, with far-reaching panoramas and rare outdoor spaces. The homes have been meticulously crafted and are flooded with natural light through the floor to ceiling windows and skylights.
Features in the penthouses include generous outdoor terraces, open-plan living and dining spaces with contemporary, custom-designed kitchens featuring state-of-the-art Gaggenau appliances and Calacatta marble worktops, spacious master bedrooms with en-suite walk-in dressing rooms and comfort cooling and under-floor heating. We also thought carefully about other luxury lifestyle trends across the world that would resonate with our purchasers, particularly at the top end of the market. We decided to include cosmetic fridges in the master en-suite bathrooms, which are the latest in high-tech bathroom design. There are also car call points: once outside your front door, you can swipe your fob, and by the time you reach the automated car-stacker system on the ground floor, your car will be waiting for you.
For one of the penthouses, we approached London-based design studio Echlin to create the interior. A member of the British luxury organisation Walpole, Echlin is known for its exceptional commitment to British luxury craftsmanship and thoughtful innovative design, and this brought to life our intention for the collection and the type of lifestyle we wanted to offer buyers. The interiors focus on British craft and are influenced by the building’s central, cosmopolitan location and its rich, creative heritage. There are a number of British-made bespoke items, including furniture and works of art, as well as a selection of paintings and photography from local artists.
This penthouse spans approximately 2,900 square feet and features an elegantlycrafted spiral staircase, designed by Make, which is flooded with natural light from the skylight above. Upstairs there is the main living and entertaining space with an adjoining kitchen, and access to southern- and northern-facing terraces. There are two spacious bedrooms located on each floor and a study. We’ve also incorporated generous wardrobes and storage, approximately 100 square feet of hanging space, which is far more than that of the average London apartment. It has a serene colour palette, which comes together to create a sanctuary in the city; tranquil yet seamlessly connected to the bustling, fast-changing neighbourhood.
The second penthouse, which is available unfurnished, spans approximately 2,500 square feet and incorporates a spacious open-plan kitchen, dining and living space with an impressive double-height ceiling and access to a terrace totalling almost 100 square feet. The master-bedroom en-suite on the upper floor is very special and features his and hers dressing rooms and a freestanding bath with book-matched marble.
Enhancing the scheme’s lifestyle offering, residents also have access to an expansive choice of stylishly appointed residents’ amenities, designed by Make. These bring a sense of inner calm to the building and include state-of-the-art wellbeing facilities. There is an 18-metre swimming pool and adjacent garden space;sauna, steam room and gymnasium; a 16-seater screening room; wine cellar and tasting room; residents’ lounge; private residents’ garden; and a 24-hour concierge.
We welcomed the first residents to Rathbone Square at the end of last year, and six months on a real sense of community has formed. They have their own Residents Wine Society, which hosts bi-monthly tastings in the Wine Cellar; and as the weather improves, the outdoor square becomes livelier with residents, workers and locals all enjoying this new communal space.
Values in the area are predicted to rise over the next few years due to limited supply and the Crossrail regeneration, according to JLL and Savills. Fitzrovia and the surrounding streets close to Tottenham Court Road are fast becoming destination residential addresses, and we continue to see demand to buy as well as rent, especially by professionals who are looking for a central location and excellent transport links on their doorstep.
Not only is Fitzrovia the capital’s most centrally located neighbourhood, it is also one of the most vibrant. It is home to a number of acclaimed restaurants, independent art galleries, shops and artisan cafés, as well as therecently opened Mandrake Hotel. With Facebook’s new European headquarters now at Rathbone Square, we are seeing an influx of other tech and creative firms moving to the area. We are proud to have delivered such a great new addition to Fitzrovia, and we believe the area’s future is looking very promising.
The Penthouse Collection at Rathbone Square is available through Savills and JLL. Prices for the penthouses are £6,900,000 and £7,750,000. For more information please visit: www.rathbonesquare.com/residential,or contact Savills on 020 7409 8756 or JLL on 020 3553 6811.