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Peter Murray

 

The latest in our series on the Great Estates of London touched on one of the newer landowners; Steve Norris of Soho Estates reported on ‘sex and the city’ in W1. Barry Coidan was in the audience.

Soho has a rich and varied past, much like the founder of the Soho Estate Geoffrey Anthony Quinn (aka Paul Raymond). Steven Norris had great fun introducing us to Soho, Soho Estate and its founder.

Steven himself has had and continues to have a rich and varied life. Businessman, MP, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport and Minister for Transport in London under John Major in 1992, where he was responsible for the Jubilee Line Extension, the largest extension of the London Underground network to date. Not forgetting his candidature for Mayor of London in 2000 and 2004. As well as all that he was at school with Paul McCartney!

Paul Raymond, like our speaker, was from Liverpool. Born in 1925 he was keen on the theatre and having successfully avoided National Service he could be found at the age of 22 on Brighton Pier as part of a mind reading act, having changed his name to Paul Raymond. He arrived in London in 1950 but the genesis of his property empire was in 1958 when he opened the Raymond Revue Bar and subsequently in 1960 bought the freehold for £14,000. In those days the Lord Chamberlain’s Office was guardian of public morals – all sorts of entertainment came within his purview. The Revue Bar’s attractive and naked ladies attracted both large audiences and the attention of the Lord Chamberlain. To get around this it became a private club.

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Peter Murray

 

 

 

The Portman Estate is synonymous with Marylebone. Its Georgian residential architecture nestles within the West End’s commercial centres of Baker Street, Oxford Street and the Edgware Road. Executive Director of the Estate, Simon Loomes, shared the history and the 21st century vision for this important part of central London. Barry Coidan reports.

Simon took us on a high speed tour of The Portman Estate telling us about the Estate’s origins, its strategy and development programme as well as the exciting Business Improvement Districts and Public Realm initiative.

The Portman Estate is made up of two farms across Buckinghamshire and Herefordshire and the London Estate: 110 acres of prime property in Central London located between Oxford Street and the Edgware Road and extending north towards the Marylebone Road and east to Manchester Square. The Estate is made up of a mix of residential, retail and office properties – in total some 650 properties and 2,200 direct tenancies with a balance between short and long term investments ranging from 1 year to 125 year leases.

65 staff work in the Estate’s management unit maintaining a high quality, high value letting portfolio aimed at delivering a vibrant community with a judicious mix of offices, shops and residential premises.

The Portman Estate is one of a number in London which include the Grosvenor Estate (Mayfair and Belgravia): the Cadogan Estate (centred on Sloane Street and the King’s Road):
the Howard de Walden Estate ( Marylebone) and the Crown Estate (Regent Street and much of St James’s).

The Portman family were originally from the west country, farming some 10,000 acres in Somerset. The London estate’s origins lie in 270 acres of farmland two miles outside the City of London leased by Sir William Portman in 1532, who acquired the freehold 20 years later. Up until the 1760s the land remained in agricultural use – thereafter it was built upon and by the 1880s fully developed.

The size of the present day Estate is less than half of that originally purchased in the mid 16th century. The family deaths in the first half of the 20th century and the resulting taxation hit the Portman family hard. As well as selling all their land in the west country; after the death of the 7th Viscount in 1948 the remaining northern parts of the Estate were sold in 1951 and 1952.

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Peter Murray

 

The London Society is delighted to welcome Grosvenor Britain & Ireland as a new Corporate Supporter.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland creates and manages high-quality neighbourhoods across the UK and Ireland. The company’s diverse property development, management and investment portfolio includes Grosvenor’s London estate of Mayfair and Belgravia, in which it has a £1bn rolling investment programme. Other developments are elsewhere in London and in Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Southampton. As at 31 December 2016, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland had £5.1bn of assets under management.

“We started placemaking over 300 years ago, when the Grosvenor family embarked on the development of Mayfair, and subsequently Belgravia. Today our activities extend beyond London to other major cities in the UK, but our goal remains the same: making great places where people want to live, work and play.”

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Peter Murray

 

The London Society is delighted to welcome The Cadogan Estate as a new Corporate Supporter.

cadogan estate logoCadogan is the historic estate that is shaping a 21st-century Chelsea. Spanning 93 acres of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, the Cadogan Estate has been under the same family ownership for almost 300 years.

Its foundations were established in 1717 when Charles, 2nd Baron Cadogan, married Elizabeth Sloane, daughter of Sir Hans Sloane, who had purchased the Manor of Chelsea in 1712; the family’s stewardship of the area continues in the hands of the present Viscount Chelsea. Today, the Estate includes approximately 3,000 flats, 200 houses, 300 shops, 500,000 square foot of office space – and over a dozen gardens covering 15 acres.

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Peter Murray

 

ls-great-estatesDuring 2017, the London Society will be running a series of talks, walks and tours with the theme of LONDON’S GREAT ESTATES. These will celebrate the best of the estates while aiming to understand their modus operandi and review what lessons they hold for the London of the future.

Grosvenor, de Walden, Portman, Cadogan, Bedford – the estates of London – are key to the capital’s special and distinctive character. Today modern estates such as Kings Cross, Broadgate and Village East London are also providing some of the benefits of their ancient peers: long-term thinking and investment, high quality placemaking, on-going maintenence and careful stewardship.

The series starts with a introductory talk by London Society Chairman Peter Murray on 4 April (register here). This will look at the role of the Great Estates both in the past and today, and how they have set the character of much of London, and continue to influence development across the capital.

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