Many say that it is one of the most valuable chunks of real estate in the world and if all the houses on the leafy street came on the open market it would be worth an amazing £2.5million. The street in question is Kensington Palace Gardens and Palace Green. It connects High Street Kensington and Notting Hill Gate and everyone wants to live there. The figure of £2.5million does not include Kensington Palace itself; this would add another £1billion to the figure.
The difference between Kensington Palace Gardens and other hyped real estate locations is that Kensington Palace Gardens has world class buildings in such a unique location that the properties here will always be able to command the highest prices and never have to fear a property crash.
Built in 1843 on part of the grounds of Kensington Palace the street was built by famous architects of the time such as Decimus Burton and the designer Sydney Smirke who designed the British museum. At the northern end of the street the style is Italianate whilst the southern end favours the Queen Anne style. Most of the mansions are listed and the lighting is provided by quaint Victorian gaslight style streetlights.
All of the freeholds of the properties belong to the Crown Estates as the mansions were built on palace grounds. Many of the worlds embassies are based on the street so there are gates and check points at both ends of the street. Police presence is also in place although they are very discreet and some of the buildings even have crash barriers. Due to these factors the street, although situated in central London, experiences very little traffic. Most of the street is occupied by ambassadors for other countries but those that were vacated were renovated by the Crown Estate and sold privately to buyers on long leases.
Kensington Palace, famous to most as the residence of Princess Diana, is situated at the southern end of the street. The Duke and Duchess of Kent still reside there as do the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester and Prince and Princess Michael of Kent. Parts of the palace are open to the public. Recently though it has become the place for the world’s richest billionaires to want to reside. In 2004 the Indian steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal bought a house in the street for £57,145.967, although it did have three mews houses at the rear. Previously to him owning it, Bernie Ecclestone was the owner who bought it back in 2001 for £50million. However it was reported that his wife Slavica did not like the building and refused to move in which was the reason behind the sale. It is now thought to have trebled in value. Mittal thought the opposite, he liked the house so much he bought two more in 2008, one for an apparent £70million and another for a record £117million. He has got permission to change over 50 rooms in the original property he bought from Mr Ecclestone. He is said to be interested in the Nepalese embassy, although they do not want to sell. However if they did, the building is said to be worth around £150million. Russian oil billionaires are thought to be some of the private owners on the street, Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich reportedly missed out on one of the mansions but he Sultan of Brunei is the private owner of entire buildings on the road and has been an owner since 1989. He hardly ever lives there but his investment has skyrocketed.