New Flats Claim to be Made in Chelsea

Despite the fact that riverside developments are firmly in Fulham

The Chelsea Riverview development overlooks Imperial Park
The Chelsea Riverview development overlooks Imperial Park

March 4, 2024

Over 200 new homes are currently under construction in a trio of developments close to the River Thames.

They are called Chelsea Riverview, Chelsea Botanica and Chelsea Retro.

Despite their names however, these developments are all on neighbouring sites on Watermeadow Lane and Townmead Road in the heart of Fulham’s Sands End - around half a mile west of the border with Chelsea.

As well as these rather deceptive titles, the developments’ websites do not even mention that they are actually located in Fulham.

Mount Anvil, the developer creating 133 flats in Chelsea Botanica on the site of now demolished social housing, appears most reluctant to give away its location, saying only that it is in South West London.

It also makes the truth defying claim that it is situated “at the heart of London’s luxury shopping district” and says its neighbourhood promises: “ World-class education, eclectic green spaces, Michelin-starred restaurants, the Saatchi Gallery, the Sloane Club, boutique shopping along King's Road and the rest of the city on your doorstep.”

SMC Property is creating the neighbouring Chelsea Riverview, which will offer 73 new homes on the site of a former office block overlooking the western end of Imperial Park.

Its website also doesn't spell out its location, but says, “ Welcome to Chelsea Riverview, a rare riverside haven on the Thames that offers residents an unrivalled way of life. A place to belong and live well. Our prime location on the waterfront, means we’re well placed to provide the very best of London living.

“Pause and reflect with a walk along the river, take a moment of mindfulness in one of the luscious parks or indulge yourself in one of the City’s cultural hotspots. Chelsea Riverview is more than a place to live; this is a way of life.”

'Chelsea Riverview is more than a place to live; this is a way of life'

On the north side of busy Townmead Road, architect and developer Wimshurst Pelleriti is creating nine luxury flats within the former St Michael’s Centre.

Its address is described as “near Imperial Wharf” and its website says: “ Situated in the heart of one of South West London’s most desirable addresses, Retro Chelsea offers a truly unique and luxury set of homes, a stone’s throw from the iconic River Thames.”

The developer adds that the building - a converted church which has more recently been a community centre - sits opposite the Harbour Club Chelsea - the upmarket health club which was once best known as Princess Diana's favourite gym, and the first to set this "West Chelsea" trend.

Chelsea Botanica on the site of now demolished social housing is described as being in South West London
Chelsea Botanica on the site of now demolished social housing is described as being in South West London

St George, part of the giant Berkeley Group, has taken the same approach, dubbing one of its local developments Chelsea Creek, despite the fact that it is on the Fulham side of the border.

So why are developers shifting the borders in this way?

“In the world of real estate, 'Chelsea' isn't just a name; it's a brand synonymous with prestige and luxury,” says Richard Woodward of estate agency Baartz, which is currently selling a two storey, three bedroom penthouse in Chelsea Creek for £4,750,000.

"Developers understand that attaching 'Chelsea' to a project instantly adds a touch of sophistication and desirability, like putting on a designer label. It’s an easy choice for upscale projects."

Chelsea Botanica developers only looking in one direction

More importantly for the developers, the ‘Made in Chelsea’ cachet also means properties can achieve premium prices. At all three developments, one bedroom apartments are priced from around £700,000, while three bedrooms start at £1,680,000 in Chelsea Botanica and £2,550,000 for flats with terraces overlooking the Thames in Chelsea Riverview.

Other local developments also avoid using the word Fulham in their names. When it began redeveloping Fulham Gasworks, adjacent to Chelsea Creek on Imperial Road, St William, another part of the Berkeley Group, chose the name King’s Road Park.

However, there is one other development by St George which does bear the name Fulham - but Fulham Reach is actually on the river in Hammersmith!

Updates on the local property market are regularly published in the Fulham newsletter.

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