Revealed – planning granted for London’s first Covid-compliant mixed-use scheme

10 June 2020 | Investment

Planning permission has been received from Westminster City Council for Mayfair’s first ‘Covid-19 compliant’ mixed-use development.

The scheme at 82 Mount Street, a £40 million, 10,000 sq ft scheme with Covid-19 safeguarding and homeworking features, is the brainchild of REDD, the London-Monaco luxury property company.

The development offers a luxury-brand ground floor retail boutique, lower ground floor offices and five upper floors, providing lateral apartments and a penthouse. 

Conceived after close consultation between REDD, Grosvenor and Westminster City Council, both before and during the UK lockdown, 82 Mount Street is the first major Mayfair property development to receive planning consent since the London housing market was restarted on May 13. 

The development is being managed by REDD, with the project’s professional team including architectural practice Formation Architects, Savills, which is advising on planning and heritage, and specification and interiors by Leo Bertacchini of 1508 London.  

82 Mount Street is described as a ‘landmark freehold end-of-terrace Victorian mansion building’, found on the corner of Mount Street and Balfour Place.

In the autumn of this year, construction work to redevelop the property into the new mixed-use scheme will begin, with build completion scheduled for late 2021. Off-plan marketing for the three lateral apartments and duplex penthouse will start in early 2021.

Revealed – planning granted for London’s first Covid-compliant mixed-use scheme

How will it be Covid-compliant? 

The development will include a spacious new resident’s lobby for the apartments, accessed from Mount Street. Meanwhile, the concierge will be set well back to allow for social distancing rules to be adhered to, and the latest technology will be applied to the design of the entire development to minimise physical touch points as much as possible.

The state-of-the-art passenger lifts, for example, will be designed to be ‘no touch’, using contactless fobs and pre-programming IT to ensure that only residents and pre-authorised guests have access to the private apartment floors.                                      

Furthermore, REDD is exploring the possibility of contactless fobs and voice recognition systems to provide apartment owners with access to both the main entrance to the development and their private apartments without having to touch anything.    

Within both the communal areas and private apartment living spaces, REDD is seeking to make finishes and surfaces from anti-viral materials, with the potential for using materials such as antibacterial copper for key touch point surfaces. This kills Covid-19 in just four hours, compared to three days for finishes such as steel, the company says. 

The firm is also looking at installing special air filtration systems for the apartments to ensure the highest standards of health and safety.   

With working from home set to become standard for many, the new apartments at 82 Mount Street are also being designed to provide ‘proper professional facilities for working from home, not just a novelty study space’. 

The apartments are set to be fitted out with a commercial Grade-A internet system and are being designed with a desk space which can accommodate a professional work-station set-up, not just a laptop. “This means a minimum of 600mm deep space, not just a 400mm writing desk,” REDD states. 

The future-proofing of the apartments is being driven by REDD’s desire to ensure that its product is ‘best-in-class’ when compared to alternatives. Equally, it wants to ensure the highest standards of Covid-19 prevention since there may be a future shift in UK building regulations to help safeguard against future viruses. 

The new ground floor retail boutique is the first new shop on Mount Street to be given planning permission since 2014. It will bring the total number of shops on Mount Street up to 56.

This includes ‘ultra-exclusive luxury brands’ such as Balcenciaga, Christian Louboutin and Goyard, which means the new retail space at 82 Mount Street is likely to appeal to an equivalent brand or art gallery seeking a Mayfair HQ.  

Russell Smithers, managing director of the REDD operation in London, commented: “82 Mount Street is REDD’s first multi-unit boutique residential scheme in London and the first ‘Covid-compliant’ development to get planning consent in Mayfair since the UK lockdown ended, so we anticipate a lot of interest in the project.”

Revealed – planning granted for London’s first Covid-compliant mixed-use scheme

He added: “REDD are delighted to have achieved consent for this landmark Mayfair development, which is the result of us working closely with Grosvenor and Westminster City Council to develop a design that will reinvigorate this important building, whilst still respecting the heritage context.”

“The proposals will see the retail offering of Mount Street extended further west towards Park Lane, and the creation of Mayfair’s best dressed pied-à-terre’s which are designed to offer the highest standards of luxury, alongside health and safety, in our new Covid-19 world.” 

The mansion building at 82 Mount Street, which fronts onto Mount Street and Balfour Place, was originally designed in 1891 by Eustace Balfour, the Grosvenor Estate’s architect-in-residence. It was built between 1892-1894 in an Anglo-Dutch style in red brick with grand stone entrance portico, projecting bays, stone dressings and Dutch gables.  

A vast single mansion between 1948-1984, 82 Mount Street served as the international headquarters of the London & Overseas Shipping Line, the oil tanker business owned by the Greek Kulukundis/Mavroleon shipping dynasty, the rivals of Onassis and Niarchos.

Over the last three decades, the building has provided multi-let premises, but now it is being returned to its original residential origins alongside new luxury retail and office accommodation. 

This post has originally been featured in Property Investor Today.