Wednesday 14 December 2011

Live above a shop: new homes built for retail therapy

A way forward for the high street, starting at the top, naturally....
Be part of the cappuccino culture. Buy a new home above a smart London high street and meet your friends for coffee at Chelsea Walk, in Fulham Road, which will have 56 flats and 14 retail units (above).
You’ll also find it happening in Bloomsbury and Belgravia, Marylebone and Mayfair, South Kensington and the Square Mile, Notting Hill and Knightsbridge — Londoners are moving to be close to their shops.
Not those predictable high street chains but individual shops, where owners are serious about their food and homeware, their crafted goods, their cheeses and delicious treats, home-made breads, butchery and bistros. The attraction of these retailers is so strong that developers have recognised buyers’ desire to live near them, in attractive new homes where they join a “village” community in areas with genuine cachet.
Lucky for some, but therein lies the germ of an idea to regenerate traditional high streets. 
Obviously it means taking a proper dose of reality by landlords and local government, running the numbers, and dissolving some long term upward-only leases, but how about converting vacant retail properties back to domestic accommodation, before circumstances force the move…? Video: Scale of problem 

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