From Rags to Riches: Mayfair

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From Rags to Riches: Mayfair

by Kate Tattersfield

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£400- what a bargain!

How did Mayfair become one of the most desirable places to rent office space?

Muddy Bog to Party Capital

Mayfair has done quite well for itself, considering it used to be a muddy bog by the River Tyburn. The area, much neglected and overlooked until the late 17th century, took a turn for the better in the year 1686 when England's last Roman Catholic king, James II, changed its destiny by granting permission for a fair. The fair took place in the first two weeks of May, and thus the name 'May-fair' was born.

The fair was unsurprisingly popular with those who survived the mortal plague of 1665-6, and wanted to spend the rest of their relatively short life span 'living it up'. Before long, the term 'fair' became synonymous with music and dancing- and the event soon gained a reputation for 'lewd' and sordid practices.

When the area eventually became the prosperous place it is today, the fair was relocated to Bow in London's East End where it wouldn't upset Mayfair's swanky inhabitants.

The Mary Davies Story

Mayfair's commercial success started with a woman called Mary Davies who was born into wealth and, at only 12 years old, married into immense wealth. Mary was the daughter of a rich banker. When her father died, she inherited 100 acres of what was- essentially- wasteland. Mary swiftly married into the Grosvenor family and had a child, Sir Richard Grosvenor, who set about building Grosvenor Square where the American Embassy now stands.

Other notable families started to develop the area which began to attract the aristocracy and their inheritances. Rev. Sydney Smith of St Paul's, which was constructed in 1675, was captivated by Mayfair's glamourous allure, saying: "The area contains more intelligence and human ability-to say nothing of wealth and beauty- than the world has ever collected in one space before."

Mayfair today

By World War II, many of the grand residential properties in Mayfair had been converted into commercial office spaces; in 1939 75% of Mayfair's homes were use as workplaces.

Today, the average price of a residential property in Mayfair stands at £3.1 million, and the median price of a work stations is about £1000 pcm.

Here are a few examples of popular Mayfair serviced offices from our portfolio:

Do business at Brook Street


Relax on the terrace at Grosvenor Street


Break out in style at Hill Street


Remember, if you can't afford a physical desk space in Mayfair, you can always invest in a virtual office!

Further Reading: High-end Offices: Mayfair

Written by Kate Tattersfield


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