For all of the developments popping up over London, it’s quite rare that a big-ticket heritage conversion in Prime Central London (PCL) comes to pass. That’s why, when we got wind of the project at 8 Eaton Lane, which recently opened for sales, we got quite excited.
Due to complete in 2024, 8 Eaton Lane is undergoing an ambitious restoration and rebuild to become a collection of 42 residences and seven retail units. So, what exactly is it about this development that has property hunters champing at the bit?
For one, the building is part of the original Grosvenor Estate, whose history begins in 1677 with the marriage of the heiress Mary Davies to Sir Thomas Grosvenor. Mary had inherited the manor of Ebury – 500 acres of land west of the City of London. From the 1720s, the Grosvenors developed the northern part of their estate, now known as Mayfair. A few generations later, the family’s focus moved south, to what is now Belgravia, creating Chester Square and a host of other famous addresses, among them Eaton Square. 8 Eaton Lane is one of the last remaining parts of the Grosvenor Estate to be restored.
The Grade II*-listed building dates back to 1863, when it was commissioned by the Marquess of Grosvenor to be London’s first-ever serviced apartment building. Belgrave Mansions, as it was known, housed many notable families of the time.
It’s a beautiful structure, reminiscent of the grand European mansion houses of the 19th century. The architect, Thomas Cundy III, who was a close peer of ‘the builder of Belgravia’ Thomas Cubitt, drew inspiration from the Parisian styles of the French Second Empire, including details such as roof mansards, stone dressing and ‘oeil-de-boeuf’ windows. A key part of the development of 8 Eaton Lane includes fully restoring the original façade.
The building was reimagined as the Belgrave Hotel in 1921, then, in the 1930s, as an office named Grosvenor Gardens House. Now, it’s going back to its residential roots, again pioneering the serviced apartment industry more than 150 years later.
While this legacy stuff is all very interesting and, in our opinion, brings a special, inimitable quality to a home, I’m sure you’re dying to know what to expect when the development completes next year. Residences at 8 Eaton Lane will range from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom penthouses designed by Millier London, which is in the process of creating spaces that marry French Renaissance detailing with classically British sensibility. Think marble flooring, fluted craftwork and freestanding baths in a palette of engineered oak and limestone. Details of amenities are currently sparse, but we know that residents of 8 Eaton Lane will enjoy a pool, gym, spa treatment rooms, cinema and a business suite.
So, you’ll understand why 8 Eaton Lane (developed by the private equity group CIT, which most recently spearheaded London’s only Grade-I* listed ‘new build’, Regent’s Crescent in Marylebone) is one of PCL’s most anticipated schemes. In fact, 40 per cent of the residences have already sold – a sign that the savvy know just how rare a development like this is.
Two-bedroom residences at 8 Eaton Lane start from £4.13 million. Visit savills.com.