Chelsea’s million dollar houses lure Gucci to London

  • 13 years ago
  • Uncategorized

Million dollar houses in France held no appeal for Francois
Pinault as he purchased a house in Chelsea this week.

The French founder of PPR, the luxury goods company that
owns Gucci and other fashion labels, bought the property in South-West London
for £20 million. Pinault plans to partially renovate the home, which featured
in the 1987 film Withnail and I and has “one of the few triple-height ceilings
in London”, according to one local resident.

Two bedroom, but with room for improvement

Speaking to The
, the neighbour commented that the property, designed in 1868,
only has two bedrooms, but is regarded as a stunning part of the Chelsea area. Indeed,
it has added stature because it is the founding place of the Society for the
Protection of Ancient Buildings.

The house was sold to Pinault by Professor Bernard Nevill,
the design director of Liberty during the 1960s. He reportedly bought the house
for £80,000 and, after “perfecting the interiors” of the property, sold it to
the Gucci owner at a profit of over £19 million.

Pinault will seek to improve the interiors of the property
further, reinstating the original staircase and redesigning the bathrooms and

Wealthy investors in London

As one of France’s richest men, Pinault will be at home in
London, long seen as a safe haven for wealthy overseas investors. He joins a
long list of luxury foreign buyers, but is no stranger to large real estate
purchases, already owning two art galleries in Venice and a share in Christie’s
auction house, which deals in luxury property.

The latest investors to buy property in London are Italians,
accounting for 16
per cent
of all transactions in the year running to September. Russian and
Chinese buyers tend to dominate the property market, but Pinault has proved
that the UK’s capital holds appeal for even the more stable Eurozone countries.

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