Camden’s new Standard

Hip American hotelier André Balazs has chosen a council office block in King’s Cross for his next boutique hotel.

André Balazs Properties is partnering with Crosstree Real Estate Partners to convert the 150,000 sq ft Camden town hall annexe, WC1, and open the first Standard Hotel outside the US.

Balazs has entered an exclusivity agreement with Crosstree to open a circa 250-bedroom hotel – its sixth Standard – on the site of the former council offices.

He is looking to repeat the success of his hotel (pictured) in New York’s once seedy Meatpacking District in London’s rapidly changing King’s Cross, which has recently attracted occupiers including Google, Louis Vuitton and restaurant firm D&D London.

Balazs’s empire also includes Hollywood’s Chateau Marmont and his first London outpost, the celebrity-friendly Chiltern Firehouse restaurant and hotel in W1.

Subject to consultation, the hotel would take two years to be readied for opening.

The council has capitalised on booming property demand in King’s Cross, raising more than £100m this year through sales. Last month it exchanged contracts with Crosstree to sell the annexe.

This week Camden selected Mace as preferred bidder to buy a 1.8-acre Travis Perkins-let site on West End Lane, NW6, for around £30m. The Shard’s building contractor, Mace, is planning a redevelopment that includes around 150 homes as well as shops.

Daniel Lovatt, development director at Deloitte Real Estate, which advised on the sales, said: “We received an unparalleled level of national and international interest. The level of demand confirms that Camden is one of the capital’s most dynamic and active property markets.”

6 June 2014 | Joanna Bourke | Leisure