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With news having come down the wire that Andre Balazs will grace London with its own Standard Hotel, we had to head over to the city’s King’s Cross area to have a look ourselves. Smack in the middle of one of the city’s largest construction and regeneration projects, the former Camden Town Hall Annexe site (above) doesn’t bring a lot of aesthetic desirability to the table in its current form.
EstateGazette previously referred to “refurbishment” and “additional floors” being proposed, which could mean the existing structure will be used as a base. The additional floors are likely to upset some people, with debate about height restrictions for the building and in the area going back as far as two years. Nothing on or around the building indicates its future as a Standard Hotel at this point, aside from notices that the Camden council is moving. Initial information indicates it will take at least two years to redevelop the building.
The Chiltern Firehouse in London has no real rooms open but it's restaurant has already been declared a success. (If you can count Lindsay Lohan dropping by every night a success). So it's not surprising that working off of the Chiltern's good vibes, hotelier Andre Balazs is now planning a Standard Hotel for Londontown.
EsatesGazette.co.uk has the full scoop:
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.
Now this is exciting. Because it might mean that we could actually stay in the Standard whereas the Chiltern operates a bit like Balazs' ultra-exclusive Mercer Hotel in Soho, NYC. And because it's a Standard, we can also expect a cool F&B and possibly a rooftop bar. We're also loving the convenient location across from King's Cross St Pancras Station.
We just hope the security team gets a stern talking too about releasing elevator footage of celebrities.
[Photo: Camden New Journal]
The Mercer already holds a special place in Kanye's heart because last February, he rented a floor at the hotel and turned it into a recording studio where him and Jay-Z recorded their new album, Watch The Throne.
But lest you think that Kanye West is an a-hole, celebrity guest, partying all night and demanding free rooms for himself and his entourage, a staffer from the hotel emailed HotelChatter detailing Kanye's recent random act of hotel kindness:
I work at the Mercer Hotel in Soho. On Sunday evening, Kanye West chartered a party bus to take our entire staff to the Izod Center in New Jersey for his concert with Jay-Z. We were all provided with complimentary tickets and Kanye personally thanked each team member for attending. The seats were amazing and he was such a gentleman.