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London Falling: Teardowns Hit the U.K.

"Homes in and around the city are being torn down and replaced with shiny new megamansions at an accelerated pace, as an influx of foreign buyers bring buckets of cash and a demand for indoor pools, movie theaters and spa complexes."

Arabs, right?

by Anonymousreply 4611/19/2012

They mean to pull down Wickham Place and build flats like yours.

by Anonymousreply 111/18/2012

I doubt any Brits born citizens can afford such luxuries today. The old British money already has residences. Don't rule out the Russians.

by Anonymousreply 211/18/2012

Arabs and Russian are basically the Tony Sopranos of Britian. Lots of money and two-tone Rolls Royces.

by Anonymousreply 311/18/2012

I've heard that Peking (Beijing, which I will never call it) is now a deformed monstrosity utterly lacking any charm it once had, something like what the Communists did to Bucharest which, as I understand, was comparable to Paris at one time.

by Anonymousreply 411/19/2012

Capitalism works.

by Anonymousreply 611/19/2012

The square footage estimates given to the new houses are on the generous side.

by Anonymousreply 711/19/2012

What were you waiting for r5....op brought up Arabs

by Anonymousreply 811/19/2012

Who do you think is buying up all the ridiculously expensive real estate in Manhattan?

Uber wealthy Arabs, Chinese, Russians and Brazilians are buying up large chunks of Manhattan real estate. A friend, with a rent controlled apartment, who lives on the border of Soho, told me he hears nothing but foreign accents. No, they are not tourists.

by Anonymousreply 911/19/2012

The first house was gorgeous. Much better than the McMansion they built over it.

by Anonymousreply 1011/19/2012

The Arts and Crafts new-build was though an improvement. A hopeful sign that not all new money is aesthetically clueless.

by Anonymousreply 1111/19/2012

I'd guess that life coaches, personal stylists, and interior designers teaching the proper (classic?) way(s) to be rich could make quite a bundle with the nouveau riche.

by Anonymousreply 1211/19/2012

Russians, mainly, in London. The Arabs (in general) are too wannabe- British to destroy too much of the old stuff. Thier tendency is to take old buildings and gold plate everything. The Russians, on the other hand like their glitz and brand names. Their prime motivation is to outdo other Russians.

by Anonymousreply 1311/19/2012

R13 nailed it. Russians are the ones who don't give a fuck about history and have no problem tearing down architectural treasures. But yes, most of the world's oligarchs (from Russia, China, the Middle East, Brazil, etc.) have made London their official residence solely for the purposes of avoiding taxes, as ex-pats living in the UK enjoy a virtually tax-free existence.

by Anonymousreply 1411/19/2012

[quote]I was waiting for someone to bring up the Arabs. The racists are always right on time.

I'm not sure what's racist about the obvious. Wealthy Arabs have been a presence in London for decades. The Russians and their patron saint, Roman Abramovitch, were the second wave. At least Abramovitch bought old property and has a tasteful girlfriend, so those things can't be ruined. Some Brazilians are awash in new oil money, but I don't think they're vulgar or at least not as vulgar as the Russians.

by Anonymousreply 1511/19/2012

Oh you poor poor girls, R1. I had no idea you had this... thing hanging over you.

by Anonymousreply 1611/19/2012

Wow a lot of those homes look so American!

by Anonymousreply 1711/19/2012

The "before" Jersey House is gorgeous. The "after" version is fucking HIDEOUS!

by Anonymousreply 1811/19/2012

Where's Rich Russian Lady Troll?

by Anonymousreply 1911/19/2012

I loved the "before" Jersey house. You know what's sad about the "after" Jersey house? It's the best of the new constructions featured.

by Anonymousreply 2011/19/2012

[quote]Of course the big question is what happens if international buyers—who currently represent 70% to 80% of the £5 million-plus market, according to Knight Frank—lose interest in Britain, leaving behind them a legacy of enclaves of overpriced property far out of reach of the local market.

What happens? What always happens... they'll be turned into flats or they'll be abandoned and occupied by squatters.

by Anonymousreply 2111/19/2012

London is a stale, dead corpse. Why would anyone care what goes on there anymore?

by Anonymousreply 2211/19/2012

[quote]London is a stale, dead corpse. Why would anyone care what goes on there anymore?

These trite, moronic remarks from people who've never travelled beyond the borders of their flyover states seem to be proliferating recently.

by Anonymousreply 2311/19/2012

Are rich Chinese moving to London?

by Anonymousreply 2411/19/2012

R22 = Mitt Romney, now really lashing out.

by Anonymousreply 2511/19/2012

Aren't they afraid of shoddy construction? I don't see many of these surviving a 100 year span - much less 50.

Also, many of the Hudson River Valley Mansions suffered - not because people decided against the area, but because of death and divorce.

How do you make a small fortune? Start with a big one and dabble in derivatives.

How do you lose everything? Marry a set of plastic tits.

by Anonymousreply 2611/19/2012

Immigrant property buyers and new money traditionally hate history, and worse than that, they hate the idea of the idea using a toilet that was used by someone before them. Everything must be new and virginal.

The design standard today is a generic 5-star Dubai hotel (or 7-star as they say in Dubai). No one has any taste any exposure and experience to appreciate the old models, or when they do, they get it garishly, Real Housewives of New Jersey-ish wrong -- all "Palladium" windows and "old world" finishes and Venetian plaster in the dog-washing room.

by Anonymousreply 2711/19/2012

Too bad. So now London will lose it's character and look like every other generic strip mall/McMansion community.

by Anonymousreply 2811/19/2012

Change is scawy.

by Anonymousreply 2911/19/2012

Wealthy Russian men are very proficient at exchanging one set of plastic tits for another. Abramovitch has done it twice already. Now he's dating another oligarch's daughter so he's more buffered.

I was wondering how quickly these mansions go up and the quality of construction, as well. Hope they don't use pikey labor or they'll fall apart in 15 years.

by Anonymousreply 3011/19/2012

They should have laws where you can't destroy older buildings.

by Anonymousreply 3111/19/2012

R31, I thought most property in England was 'Leasehold' over 'Freehold'.

I'm wondering if this real estate porn fetish is being blown out of proportion.

by Anonymousreply 3211/19/2012

In the U.S., older, architechturally or culturally significant buildings can be landmarked and preserved from tearing down. I don't know how those laws work exactly. I assume it's on city by city or state by state basis. No idea how hard it is to do or what it requires.

Here in Calfornia, old Victorian homes are often lifted off their foundtions and rolled down streets to new locations. It used to happen a lot in the '70s when I was a kid. I recall seeing it a couple of times. It was a sight to behold. It still happens occasionally. A few years ago the University of CA at Berkeley was giving one such home away for free provided the recipient payed for the transportation costs. Another was moved into my neighborhood a couple of years ago.

by Anonymousreply 3311/19/2012

Of course the U.K. has listed properties, protected for their architectural merit or historical association, and large historic districts in which new construction is highly regulated or prohibited.

But just as in the U.S., not every attractive house of over 50 years age is protected. The tear-downs featured in the article fall outside the protected areas; they are not in central London, some are not in London.

There's no danger of central London's most beautiful streets and squares being McMansioned (at least not visibly -- though many interiors are gutted and the new thing is building downward several stories beneath the ground to house garages and servant's quarters and home cinemas and swimming pools and all that.) The U.K. has more stringent controls than the U.S.; the problem is the same as everywhere -- that not all eligible buildings are listed, and so are unprotected.

by Anonymousreply 3411/19/2012

Why do countries allow rich immigrants in?

They don't start new companies, because they are living off their existing wealth and they just drive up the price of real estate and encourage corruption.

by Anonymousreply 3511/19/2012

Hello London. You can look just like Dallas too.

by Anonymousreply 3611/19/2012

Beijing never had any charm. That's why the only thing you ever see in films and TV shows is the same shot of the building with Mao's portrait on Tiananmen Sq. Now you also get some shots of the huge vanity buildings designed by Westerners.

by Anonymousreply 3711/19/2012

Many wealthy people from around the world think that there is no safer investment than real estate in Manhattan and central London. They are probably right.

by Anonymousreply 3811/19/2012

At least many of those McMansions are sensitive to the architecture around them. They are much nicer than the US equivalents.

by Anonymousreply 3911/19/2012

Keepers Wood and Jersey House are the worst offenders because of the fucking stupid attached garages. You've got that much space? Fine, but move the garages and their ugly doors to the back or side.

With some rambling landscaping and weathering the other houses will be fine, the architectural choices are at least in keeping with the intent.

But the fucking garage doors, why don't you just just put a swing set on the perfectly manicured lawn.

by Anonymousreply 4011/19/2012

r22, as Samuel Johnson once said, "If you are tired of London you are tired of life".

by Anonymousreply 4111/19/2012

Owners defend changes to Vertigo house

by Anonymousreply 4211/19/2012

[quote]Where's Rich Russian Lady Troll?

Black Card OK?

by Anonymousreply 4411/19/2012

It's not just the "ragheads" r43. I would like to know why these people are not content to stay in their own countries?! Have they fucked it up in their own countries so much that they have to invade others that work fairly well and fuck them up too? Is that why there are so many illegal immigrants in the US?

by Anonymousreply 4511/19/2012

R42: That's a different kettle of fish entirely. Historic preservation is my profession but her I side with the owners. Putting up a high wall doesn't destroy a property which the owner rightly notes is a bit of pop culture, not an architectural landmark. It's a dumpy little house, the architectural equivalent of a frumpy cube frau if you like.

I don't know why they felt compelled to bother fussing with the chimney, but it's not a great loss.

Here's a "Before" image from a Google Streets screen-capture:

by Anonymousreply 4611/19/2012
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