'There are no comparables for this': Inside The Bishops Avenue's marquee rental penthouse

By PrimeResi Journal

"We are trying to buy and develop things that really push the boundary of luxury property development," says Henigman and Rhodium founder, Dean Main.

Luxury property impresario Dean Main has pulled back the curtain on one of north London’s marquee apartments: the penthouse at Buxmead on The Bishops Avenue.

Main acquired eleven units in Harrison Varma’s high-spec new-build development back in 2019, alongside Czech property investor CPI via his company Henigman, with a view to creating a super-prime rental portfolio. Ten of the apartments have been successfully let to a series of wealthy and well-known tenants since then, including a number of top-flight footballers for 12+ months at a time. Tenants always have a “Grade A” experience, Main says, thanks to rolling refurb programme that makes apartments “always feel brand new”. And it seems to be working, with a waiting list of prospective renters queuing to pay £5,000-£10,000 per week.

The penthouse, meanwhile, has been the subject of a meticulous and uncompromising three-year fit-out programme, transforming the shell-and-core acquisition into a new benchmark for luxury rental property – pitched at a cool £25,000 per week.

“Nobody’s questioned the price,” Main tells us; “there are no comparables for this.”

Spanning 9,000 square feet over two levels (7,500 sq ft inside, plus a 1,500 sq ft garage and wrap-around terrace space), the penthouse has been designed by architectural and interior design practice SHH. 

Main says he picked SHH after seeing their work on Athlone House in Highgate, which underwent an astonishing restoration after reportedly being bought by Ukrainian-born billionaire Mikhail Fridman in 2016 (the Alfa Bank founder was recently sanctioned by the UK Government). Athlone is “not what you’d expect”, Main says, adding that SHH are clearly “very client-led.” Read PrimeResi’s recent interview with SHH director Guy Matheson here, and an earlier Q&A with co-founder Graham Harris here.

Interiors at the Buxmead penthouse are opulent and elegant, featuring tactile materials, a rich colour palette, and an obsessive attention to details.

“I always knew what I wanted,” says Main of the design, adding that SHH took his brief “and executed it to perfection.” The property is not a sales prospect, he explains – but it needs to appeal to a renter spending £1.5mn a year. A letting agent is due to be appointed shortly.

Accessed directly from the lift, sprawling accommodation on the top floor includes three bedroom suites, two kitchens, living room, dining room and a snug. A lavishly-planted terrace – designed by Olivia Truelove’s Kinland Design – offers tree-top views over Buxmead’s grounds and salubrious neighbourhood, including Kenwood.

The lower level also has direct lift access, to a club-style entertainment room with bar, games area, cinema and pool room. Then there’s an exercise studio with steam/shower room, a study, another bedroom suite (with kitchenette), utility room, and a courtyard garden. The private lift goes directly down to the basement, where a private garage is big enough for five vehicles.

Penthouse residents will also have access to Buxmead’s other amenities, including a 25-metre swimming pool, gym, spa, club lounge, offices and 2.5 acres of private grounds.

Dean Main is well-known in prime resi circles as the founder and CEO of Rhodium Residence Management – which handles many of London’s top luxury schemes on behalf of clients including Finchatton, Northacre, Almacantar, CIT, Caudwell Collection, Brockton, Glebe, Cain Hoy and JTRE London.

Alongside Rhodium, Main has built up a significant portfolio of super-prime projects via his own development and investment firm, Henigman.

Henigman has delivered some landmark residential and commercial schemes in Central London, and has a gross development pipeline in excess of £600mn.

Its projects include the former Mayfair Police Station at 27 Savile Row (acquired with CPI last year; development prospects are being explored, but will probably include a “top restaurant” and possibly a “super-duper penthouse”); a 30,000 sq ft family mansion on St James’s Square (acquired for c.£45mn in 2019, and now with a potentially record-breaking estimated GDV of £150mn thanks to plans drawn up by Formation Architects – but the house will be offered for rent, not sale); seven mews houses in Notting Hill (also acquired in 2019); a house on Wilton Crescent in Belgravia, and the Anna Freud Centre in Hampstead, which is being transformed into two townhouse residences.

“We are trying to buy and develop things that are really pushing the boundary of luxury property development,” says Main.

In Pictures: The penthouse at Buxmead (Photos by Tom Bird)