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County Hall, 1 Belvedere Road, Southbank, London SE1
London Borough of Lambeth
1996 – 2000
636 properties split over four historic blocks
(North, South, East & West)
Waterloo and Westminster stations are both within short walking distances offering zone 1 London underground and National Rail travel across the Capital and beyond.
|24 hour concierge service||Health and fitness suite||Indoor heated swimming pool||Gymnasium|
|Secure underground parking|
County Hall, an Overview
County Hall is situated close to some of London’s most iconic buildings, but County Hall itself is a landmark piece of architecture made famous by its political history and now houses some of the most sought after residences within the SE1 postcode.
It’s sprawling footprint of Edwardian Baroque and neo-Edwardian extension houses over 600 apartments. With a mix of one, two, three bedroom apartments and larger, it appeals to all kinds of residents from owner occupiers to long term tenants as well as having a healthy demand for holiday and corporate lets.
Not many ex-government buildings come much grander than this and with its proximity to most key London locations and major transport hubs, County Hall has, as powerful a draw as a residential building, as it did a government building.
A History of County Hall
It would be too easy to revert to a retelling of County’s Halls ‘Infamous years’ as the offices of the Greater London Council under the rule of socialist, Ken Livingstone, and how being opposite the houses of Parliament, Livingstone would torment the, then Conservative government presided over by Margret Thatcher, with slogans hanging from its façade. It is a colourful and entertaining past but certainly not County Hall’s only history.
Designed by Architect Ralph Knott, County Hall was officially opened by King George v in 1922 after being severely delayed due to the First World War. Throughout its political life it continued to be developed with various extensions added to the north and south block. In 1974 a hugely unpopular, brutalist hexagonal-shaped annexe was added by architect John Bancroft.
But Bancroft’s carbuncle was not the only thing to cause a frenzy. The opening scenes of what was Alfred Hitchcock’s penultimate film, Frenzy, was filmed outside County Hall and in the opening shots a familiar portly figure wearing a bowler hat can be seen in the crowd.
Frenzy saw Hitchcock return to the genre of Murderous thriller, in this case the ‘necktie murders’ in which a deranged barkeeper prowls the streets of London strangling women with his necktie.
Derived from the novel ‘Goodbye Piccadilly, Farewell Leicester Square’ by Arthur La Bern La Bern was apparently very unhappy with Hitchcock’s interpretation going so far as to write a letter to the Editor of the Times disassociating himself with the film.
Now reassuringly, most of the frenzy comes from people clamouring to buy in the development, all wanting the bragging rights to the Central London location and the historical anecdotes.
Living & Investing In County Hall
When Galliard acquired the site in the mid 1990’s they instantly recognised that the magnificent Edwardian Baroque structure mixed with the superb zone 1 location would ensure that apartments in the block would be highly sought after. A sensitive redevelopment and addition of two further buildings around the Forum Magnum Square adds to its splendour without compromising its exclusivity.
With the typical amenities of secure underground parking, 24 hour porters, private residents gym and swimming pool, this luxury development provides everything today’s urban elite would want from a home and more.
A vibrant use of the commercial space ensures that there are plenty of cafes, bars and restaurants on the site while Westminster and Lambeth North Underground Stations are only a few minutes’ walk away.
There is no denying that County Hall particularly appeals to holiday lets. The London Eye, I-max Cinema, The Southbank Centre and a whole host of ever-changing attractions situated within the commercial sites of County Hall itself.
Investors will appreciate that while many of the apartments that come up for sale would benefit from refurbishment, prices reflect this but have also seen a steady increase commensurate with the rest of the London property market.
With development continuing around the Waterloo area and plans released for the Southbank’s ‘facelift’ it would be a fair assumption to say that prices in County Hall should continue to rise.
County Hall & Beyond
London is arguably the cultural capital of the World, and while that may be questioned by some, residents of County Hall would find it hard to disagree with such an assertion. With The Young Vic and Old Vic theatres, the Royal Festival Hall and Tate Modern all within walking distance, County Hall residents are literally surrounded by some of the world’s best arts events on a daily basis.
Stepping out from County Hall immediately puts you in the midst of some of London’s landmark sites which may not suit everyone, but for anyone who wants to see London at its most vibrant then it would be difficult to surpass County Hall.
Waterloo continues to undergo further transformation with an increasing number of exclusive bars and restaurants, the Baltic on Southwark Bridge Road and the Anchor & Hope on Lower Marsh both being permanently popular.
For a more down-to-earth experience, Cubana on the corner of The Cut is a hugely popular bar with a mix of after-work and late-night party crowd in a friendly but sweltering atmosphere!
More refined experiences can be had at the world famous Royal Festival Hall, where many free lunch time concerts are put on, and the plethora of open spaces and generous seating makes it a haven for creative types to meet and hang out.
With many of London’s top universities within the vicinity, County Hall also attracts affluent overseas students. Rest assured those purchasers who baulk at the idea of student lets. With two bedroom flats averaging at over £600 per week, tenants are likely to be of a genuinely studious nature.
Lambeth as a shopping district remains to develop but with Victoria, Sloane Square, Regent Street all being a short cab ride away, fashionistas are well served. Further afield but still an easy commute is Shoreditch, Hackney and Greenwich all with their own individual atmospheres and selection of independent shops.
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