Luxury flats in brutalist style on Oxford Street

The skyscraper that became a byword for London’s housing crisis in the 1970s is now being marketed to the super rich in the UAE as exclusive residences.

Centre Point, a 33-storey tower at the east end of London’s Oxford Street, became a symbol of homelessness after property tycoon Harry Hyams deliberately kept it empty for nearly a decade as he waited to find a single office tenant to lease it.

The 117-metre tall Brutalist style concrete tower was completed in 1966, but in 1974 it was targeting by protesters, who camped out at the tower.

The iconic Richard Seifert-designed tower has since been redesigned by London-based property company Almacantar as 82 luxury apartments costing between £1.8 million and £55m.

Property broker Knight Frank is marketing them across the GCC after an exclusive private viewing in Dubai last month.

These include two massive 2,133 square foot three-bedroom, three-bathroom apartments each retailing at £7.5 million.

Given access via their own private lifts and with interiors designed by Conran & Partners, the apartments will include views of London landmarks including the Houses of Parliament, St Paul’s Cathedral and the City of London.

According to the agent, residents will also enjoy use of features more associated with a luxury hotel such as a spa and treatment rooms, a 30-metre swimming pool, cinema, 24-hour security and concierge service.

Brushing aside concerns that overheated property prices in the UK could flounder as a result of Britain’s referendum vote in June to leave the European Union, Almacantar and its advisers suggest that even these extraordinarily steep house prices could potentially jump when London’s new Crossrail trail lines begin to open from 2019.

“What is really exciting is the evolution of this central area right in the heart of London and that from a connectivity point of view it will be the only point at which Crossrail 1 and 2 will meet across London,” says Victoria Garrett, the head of international project marketing for Knight Frank’s Mena operation.

q&a near top shopping areas

Lucy Barnard reveals more about the transformation of London’s Centre Point into luxury homes.

Why is Centre Point so famous to Londoners?

Located at the end of Oxford Street, Centre Point is visible across much of central London. The building also shares its name with homeless charity Centrepoint leading many to associate the name with the plight of homelessness.

What is this part of London like?

Centre Point is close to 30 museums, public and private galleries, 40 theatres (including the Royal Opera House), and Europe’s most sought after shopping spots.

What is Crossrail?

Crossrail is a 118-kilometre railway line under development in London and the Home Counties of Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Essex. A large section of the line is due to open in December 2018. Brokers say that by cutting journey times in the city, properties along the line will probably increase in value. The line has been under construction since 2009, so many of these increases may have already been seen.

What about house prices?

According to Knight Frank’s housing forecast, house prices across the western part of central London fell by 7 per cent in the year to date as uncertainty surrounding the Brexit process knocked consumer confidence. It estimates that house prices in the area around the City of London close to Centre Point will have fallen 2.5 per cent by the end of this year and will remain flat next year.

lbarnard@thenational.ae

Follow The National’s Business section on Twitter