Celebrity chef, Curzon cinema and 8,000 sq ft penthouse included in Kingston Regal Cinema plans

This Is Local London: Michael Ross and Wahid Samady from CNM Estates outside the old Regal Cinema Michael Ross and Wahid Samady from CNM Estates outside the old Regal Cinema

An 8,000 square foot penthouse with concierge service, a Curzon cinema, and a restaurant run by a celebrity chef.

These are just some of the features included in finalised plans for Kingston’s iconic Gala Bingo hall in Richmond Road.

Developer CNM Estates has submitted its planning application to Kingston Council outlining a radical new vision for the vacant, Grade II-listed building.

The multi-million pound mixed-use scheme will also include a dance hall, office space and children’s play and education centre.

Three new storeys will be built on top of the existing structure, to accommodate 14 residential flats, including one 8,000 square foot penthouse and two 1,000 square foot homes.

An underground basement level will also be excavated for residential parking.

CNM Estates chairman Wahid Samady said he wanted to bring the luxury and glamour of London’s billionaire residential complex One Hyde Park to Kingston, adding the scheme would herald a new era for the firm’s own development style.

Mr Samady said: “This development has been driven by the community.

“It’s taken longer because it’s a complex building and we’ve had to check with English Heritage that all features are appropriate.

“We want to bring Number One Hyde Park to Kingston.

“We want to scale it down, but bring that same amenity and luxury.”

This Is Local London:

CNM Estates has completed the purchase of the iconic art deco building formally owned by Franco Lumba

Mr Samady confirmed the company had agreed terms with boutique cinema chain Curzon to open a three-screen complex at the development, subject to contract negotiations.

There are also ongoing talks with an unnamed celebrity chef about opening a high quality restaurant and bar at the site. Last week, CNM Estates completed the purchase of the building from former owner Franco Lumba, who in 2013 was fined £45,000 plus £29,000 in costs for ripping out the building’s flooring.

Mr Samady said: “We now own the site outright, and the previous owner is now completely out of the equation.”

This Is Local London:

Michael Ross and Wahid Samady show off the view from the top of the building

Mr Samady also responded to critics of the scheme, who have set up numerous Facebook pages and online petitions opposing his company’s plans.

He said: “This is the no change brigade, who have no ideas about what should be done but are simply chained to the ‘no change’ strapline, without any reasonable suggestion for what the alternative should be.

“Anyone can set up a website and sign a petition. We respect them, but we live in a democracy and the people that live close by and have to live with it being empty want a change, and we have listened to them and delivered.

“That’s why we are urging the overwhelmingly supportive majority to make their voices heard and write to us or the council in support of this application.”

Comments (3)

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9:51am Fri 28 Feb 14

DB says...

Whilst I appreciate any attempts to move Kingston nightlife away from the one-dimensional kid-focussed centre it has become, can this really work?

An 8,000 sqft penthouse overlooking the railway station in the centre of Kingston? To be honest, I think that would be ambitious even in those new glass blocks with fantastic rivers views.

In order to make it profitable compared to building 8 x 1,000 sqft flats, this would have to sell for over £4m, which is way below Hyde Park One money, but would make it the most expensive flat in Kingston by some margin and more expensive than some of the mansions on Coombe Hill.

I like the idea of a Curzon cinema as well, but again this depends on how much people are prepared to pay. Kingston has a 14 screen Odeon only 100 metres away from this site, and I have been to a lot of showings in their recently and sat with no more than 20 other people because the price excludes most from going. I guess the Curzon would be more expensive still?

I am certainly not one of the 'No change brigade' that Mr Samady talks about as I would love to see this building put to good use, and I recognise that housing would have to be part of any development in the current climate. I just think we have to be realistic about what should go there.

CNM Estates do not have a good track record of actually finishing developments. The Surbiton Quarter development is still rumbling on after several years and some of the new shops that were completed as part of the first phase are still not let.
Whilst I appreciate any attempts to move Kingston nightlife away from the one-dimensional kid-focussed centre it has become, can this really work? An 8,000 sqft penthouse overlooking the railway station in the centre of Kingston? To be honest, I think that would be ambitious even in those new glass blocks with fantastic rivers views. In order to make it profitable compared to building 8 x 1,000 sqft flats, this would have to sell for over £4m, which is way below Hyde Park One money, but would make it the most expensive flat in Kingston by some margin and more expensive than some of the mansions on Coombe Hill. I like the idea of a Curzon cinema as well, but again this depends on how much people are prepared to pay. Kingston has a 14 screen Odeon only 100 metres away from this site, and I have been to a lot of showings in their recently and sat with no more than 20 other people because the price excludes most from going. I guess the Curzon would be more expensive still? I am certainly not one of the 'No change brigade' that Mr Samady talks about as I would love to see this building put to good use, and I recognise that housing would have to be part of any development in the current climate. I just think we have to be realistic about what should go there. CNM Estates do not have a good track record of actually finishing developments. The Surbiton Quarter development is still rumbling on after several years and some of the new shops that were completed as part of the first phase are still not let. DB

12:21pm Fri 28 Feb 14

kingstonpaul says...

Do we need property 'bling' like this in Kingston? 8,000 sq ft is one huge apartment, presumably comes with a sky-high value, which means it will be a bauble residing on the balance sheet of some offshore investment company.
Like the idea of a Curzon - it's a grown up chain of cinemas, showing nichier films off the mainstream. A nice alternative to sitting alongside some popcorn muncher at the Odeon (the kind that are unable to go five minutes without looking at their mobile phone).
Do we need property 'bling' like this in Kingston? 8,000 sq ft is one huge apartment, presumably comes with a sky-high value, which means it will be a bauble residing on the balance sheet of some offshore investment company. Like the idea of a Curzon - it's a grown up chain of cinemas, showing nichier films off the mainstream. A nice alternative to sitting alongside some popcorn muncher at the Odeon (the kind that are unable to go five minutes without looking at their mobile phone). kingstonpaul

9:58am Tue 4 Mar 14

Mr Chipps says...

The Curzon cinema is a welcome addition and the apartment element does appear reasonable. At least is not the open-ended leisure facility (read yet another nightclub) that previous developer was seeking. Thank goodness local community pressure put a block on that - no thanks to RBK's woeful failure to put in place proper planning safeguards.
The Curzon cinema is a welcome addition and the apartment element does appear reasonable. At least is not the open-ended leisure facility (read yet another nightclub) that previous developer was seeking. Thank goodness local community pressure put a block on that - no thanks to RBK's woeful failure to put in place proper planning safeguards. Mr Chipps

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