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Luxury basement extension turns townhouse into $ 13m well

A multi-million dollar London townhouse wasn’t enough, so they bought the neighboring multi-million dollar London townhouse to tie them together.

Yet that was not enough.

So they brought in contractors to dig a huge basement to expand the living space of Chelsea’s beautiful Georgian houses below the ground – a trend that is rampant in London’s wealthier neighborhoods where the wealthy compete against each other. to build the most lavish underground gymnasiums, swimming pools and home theaters. and even showrooms for their classic car collections.

On Monday night, one of those extravagant basement dreams turned into a nightmare: a $ 13 million sinkhole on one of London’s most expensive and desirable residential streets. The two townhouses that were undergoing extensive basement work have collapsed into rubble.

Breaking the two houses together ticks another box of deeply boring millionaire real estate trends in London and New York.

For ordinary Londoners, many of whom constantly complain that the dazzling excavations involved in creating luxurious mega-basements are ruining their lives (and the structural integrity of their own home), the sense of justice will indeed be poetic.

However, any jubilation from the inhabitants of the street, Durham Place in Kensington, is likely to be tempered by the fact that around 40 people living mainly in apartments adjacent to the fallen apartment building have now been evacuated from their homes in the following the collapse.

London Evening standard reports that, according to planning documents submitted to Kensington and Chelsea council, some of the properties on the street have approved the creation of a gymnasium, press room and study in their basements.

Neighbors reported hearing a huge thud “as loud as thunder” in the middle of the night as the mid-terrace homes, worth around £ 10million ($ 13million), collapsed.

Emergency services and fire crews worked through the night to secure the buildings.

Jason Jones of the Fire Department said, “There was a total collapse of the building from the roof to ground level. The firefighters worked to secure the scene and our drone team carried out a search.

“A police search dog also conducted an external search of the building and at this point no injuries have been reported. No one would have been inside the building at the time of the collapse. “

As the super basement trend has become a well-known peril of contemporary London life in particular, plutocratic New Yorkers have also gotten into the act: a $ 100 million brown stone on West 69th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue has been leveled and is being rebuilt with a 38-foot-deep basement to provide an underground theater and recording studio.

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