Evening Standard: "A fanfare for Old Oak Common" (or: "Property Vultures Gather")

"...An affordable regeneration area with huge scope for development is Old Oak Common. Plans for 25,000 new homes and a railway hub the size of Waterloo could see the semi-derelict 383-acre site in north-west London turn into the capital’s biggest regeneration project since Stratford.

Mayor Boris Johnson believes Old Oak Common's potential is 'unprecedented' and that its benefits will spill out into surrounding areas, including Park Royal, North Acton and Willesden Junction.

"This is a project in its very early stages. Developer London and Regional Properties is consulting on plans for 9,000 new homes between Wormwood Scrubs and Willesden Junction, which it has named Old Oak Park. But for those willing to take a long-term approach, the streets of former railway workers' cottages around Willesden Junction are starting to look like a very sensible buy.

" 'We are already starting to get that sort of interest, especially from investors and first-time buyers,' says Tony Bunce, branch partner of Daniels estate agents. 'The average price of one of the workers’ cottages is about £500,000 — you would pay that for a two-bedroom flat in Kensal Rise.'

"The compromise is that Willesden Junction is a far from glamorous location at the moment, although it is in Zone 2 and only a half-hour commute to the West End. Locally, Behesht, a Persian restaurant in Harrow Road, is recommended for its good food and frankly extraordinary décor.

"However, for nightlife, shopping and café culture, residents will need to travel — although not that far. Queen's Park is two Overground stops away, with Westfield at Shepherd's Bush less than a 15-minute hop. 'I think that in 10 years’ time, the area will be completely different,' says Bunce."

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