In 1901, an intrepid reporter from the Daily Mail set out to uncover ‘the worst street in London’ and found it in Dorset Street, Spitalfields.
“Policemen go down it as a rule in pairs. Hunger walks prowling in its alleyways, and the criminals of to-morrow are being bred there to-day,” he wrote of the small service road less than a block from Old Spitalfields Market.
It’s difficult to reconcile this former Victorian slum turned mid-century artist colony with the Spitalfields of today, where shiny City towers loom over the lovingly restored merchant terrace houses and converted lofts, and trendy food trucks flock to manicured public squares.
Tourists still flock for a glimpse of the spot where Jack the Ripper’s final victim Mary Kelly was brutally murdered, mind you, and it is this type rich history, even the most unsavoury chapters, has helped shape Spitalfields as one of the most sought-after pockets of London for those who like their City conveniences with plenty of character.
To learn more about the area and property market, we sat down with
Hunters Shoreditch Franchise Partner, Polat Ali, to discuss why the area is worth considering.
What makes Spitalfields standout?
The area has gone through considerable gentrification over recent years, which has seen many of the original textile, fabric and footwear wholesalers close down, being replaced with vibrant, high-end eateries and drinking establishments.
People from across the capital head to Spitalfields to shop, dine and go out for drinks. It has become a destination for tourists, too.
Any new developments?
There have been a number of new developments. One of the most recent is London Square, which is a boutique development of one, two and three-bedroom apartments set around the beautifully landscaped grounds of Mallon Gardens and Grade II-listed Toynbee Hall.
What properties are on offer?
Properties range from smaller one-bedroom ex-council apartments starting from £350,000 on the lower end, with larger, luxury penthouse apartments like Principle Tower which can cost in excess of £1million.
Apartments in Principle Tower boast views overlooking the heart of the City of London and Shoreditch. Plus, all the interiors are designed by Foster + Partners’ in collaboration with LIV Interiors (so expect plenty of good, eye-pleasing, features).
Who’s buying the properties?
We have seen an increase in first-time buyers and, more recently, a return of overseas investors.
What are the transport links like?
Spitalfields enjoys access to a number of transport links with Aldgate East, Liverpool Street and Shoreditch High Street stations all within a short walk.
Best places to eat out in the area?
With a plethora of options, you will never struggle to find a good place to eat. Spitalfields Market has a thriving food market with a huge array of food stalls offering cuisines from all around the world.
Best places for shopping?
Spitalfields Market is a popular shopping destination, as is Brick Lane, which has a weekly flea market that attracts thousands.
Top picks for entertainment and culture?
Brick Lane is the perfect spot for rich culture, entertainment and the arts. The area has many street corners covered in street art which has made the area a popular tourist attraction and spot for a snap.
Any advice for someone looking to buy or rent in the area?
Demand is very high for rental properties so be prepared to move quickly in order to secure your next home.
For more information on properties in the area, visit hunters.com