GENTEEL Harrogate, known for its leafy streets and refined tearooms, has many times been dubbed the ‘posh part’ of Yorkshire.
Now as record sales are secured for two apartments – at more than £10m each – it seems the spa town’s standing as one of the most exclusive addresses has been well and truly sealed.
The two penthouse apartments, each with its own wing and rooftop gardens, are part of the Crescent Garden development of the grand old former council chamber.
Once a Victorian bathhouse, frequented by the likes of Queen Elizabeth and Winston Churchill, it is to be redeveloped into flats, parkland, an art gallery, restaurant and spa. And this little taste of luxury, developers say, is set to restore Harrogate’s history as the UK’s “first and finest spa town”.
“Our vision is to create truly special residences with every aspect of lifestyle taken care of,” developer Adam Thorpe told The Yorkshire Post. “With uplifting an entire area and not just a building we completely change the reception space for this beautiful spa town, adding beauty and bringing new level of experience to both our clients and anyone visiting.”
The redevelopment of the council’s former Crescent Gardens chambers has been well documented over recent months, with the site sold in March for conversion.
Now, as details emerge of the plans and progress, it seems Harrogate’s position within the region’s golden property triangle is more secure than ever.
The development, as revealed in yesterday’s Sunday Times, will see 10 flats with prices starting at £2.5m, to be staffed by doormen in the style of the Ritz and having access to a house Bentley.
Half of these flats, it emerges, are already reserved. And of the two penthouse apartments, developers say, sales have been reserved for more than £10m while the buyers are “all local people who are as keen as we are to protect our heritage and give it a future legacy for the next 100 years”.
The Sunday Times compared the sales with the “madness” of London’s house prices and it is by far the highest price yet paid for property in the area.
There have only been six residential sales around Harrogate of more than £2m recorded by the Land Registry, most notable of which was in 2006 when Gareth Southgate, now the England football manager, bought the Grade 1 listed Swinsty Hall for £3.25m.
This project, say developers, is a restoration of the “original spa quarter of the original spa town”, and is the first scheme of its kind they have ever seen outside of London.
There will be an art gallery, cryotherapy spa and restaurant topped with a glass dome in the shape of a Faberge egg.
There will be parkland, gardens, the original listed bandstand will be brought back into use, and the road will be removed to once again link the Valley Gardens with Montpellier.
“We are driven to add value to our clients lives and restore environments with our schemes such as Crescent Gardens,” said Mr Thorpe. “Once we have achieved this through hard work, determination and perseverance we shall also be investing in the wider environmental issues facing our natural world, something which is close to our hearts and the main drive behind the foundation we are establishing.
“We are proud to call Harrogate our home town and proud to look after clients who value this areas’ special buildings, are willing to invest and allow us to look after them in this privileged regard.”
HARROGATE has long-held a reputation as one of Yorkshire’s property hotspots and is part of the highly sought-after Golden Triangle which includes north Leeds and York.
The spa town’s homes – many of which date back to the Victorian era when it emerged as a prime tourism destination for visitors around the country wanting to take the waters – cost an average price of £305,442 in 2016, according to figures from the National Housing Federation.
This dwarfs the Yorkshire and Humber region’s average price of £174,171 and is well above England’s average of £282,011.