- A mile-long road in London has been the city’s “Billionaire’s Row” since the World War II: a destination for luxury, scandal, murder, and secrecy.
- Insider has profiled key residents of The Bishops Avenue in a series of articles after revealing that the vast majority of mansions on the street are owned by shell corporations.
- In 2016 Justin Bieber was on his iconic “Purpose” tour. His base for the UK dates was Heath Hall, a £25 million ($US32 million,) 27,000 sq-ft mansion on The Bishops Avenue.
- This post is part of an interactive series by Insider profiling Billionaires Row.
On October 12, 2016, schoolkids at Highgate School, a distinguished private school with playing fields at the end of The Bishops Avenue, were midway through soccer training when two figures strode across the grass.
The larger was one of the world’s most successful talent managers, Scooter Braun, the other was Justin Bieber.
Bieber was on the UK leg of the world tour for his album “Purpose,” with UK stops in London, Manchester, Glasgow, and Birmingham – his base for which was Heath Hall, located at 59 The Bishops Avenue.
That morning Bieber approached games master Mario Noto and asked him to join in. “He asked me to go in goal for a few penalties – and turned out to be pretty good,” Noto said.
Highgate School’s sports department tweeted some pictures at the time.
— HighgateSpEx (@HighgateSpEx) October 12, 2016
The area went into meltdown.
“It was a bit confusing at the beginning cause everyone just thought he was a random year 11,” a pupil told the London’s Heart Radio that afternoon.
“They just thought someone just wanted to come and join in, until they saw all the tattoos on the neck.”
The 27,000 sq-ft mansion Bieber rented lies on 2.5 acres on the west side of The Bishops Avenue, and is considered one of the more tasteful mansions on the street.
The original home on the plot – East Weald – was built in 1919 for British sugar tycoon William Lyle. It was bought in 2006 by British property developer Andreas Panayiotou, who renamed the house and spent £40 million ($US54 million) modernising it.
East Weald had also been used as hostel-come-residence for Chinese government employees posted to London.
One thing missing from the original mansion when Panayiotou bought it were the home’s famous iron gates, which had been commandeered during World War II to make tanks.
The £40 million Panayiotou spent on modernising the interior made it unrecognizable.
One of the Hall’s 13 bathrooms now holds a £250,000 ($US320,000) bathtub made of pure onyx. Installing it required the floor be especially reinforced, Trevor Abrahmsohn, the agent who sold the property to Panayiotou, told Insider.
In March 2013, upon seeing the house again up for sale, British author A. N. Wilson wrote that Panayiotou had clearly contracted “gold taps syndrome” on account of how lavish it was.
Panayiotou first listed the property with Abrahamshon’s Glentree Estates in 2012 for £100 million ($US130 million)
Feeling flush at the potential returns, he ordered glossy, hard-back brochures costing £2,000 ($US2,600) each.
But he was out of luck. The price was routinely lowered until it was sold for £25 million ($US32 million) in April 2015.
When Bieber rented Health Hall he paid £108,000 ($US140,000) a month.
What he did in the home is not well known. But with a tennis court, indoor and outdoor swimming pool, steam room, sauna, gym, home cinema, and 600-bottle wine cellar, he was not short of options.
Upon hearing of Bieber’s new digs on The Bishops Avenue, newspaper columnist Giles Coren said it was “absolutely the worst street in London, and probably the world.”
“Bieber, you poor little muffin,” Coren wrote in his column for The Times of London. “You will kill yourself if you have to stay there for more than a week.”
The property does have a panic room.
After Bieber wrapped up the UK leg of the “Purpose” tour on October 30, 2016, he left Heath Hall, rending the house again unoccupied for a year, until US actress Salma Hayek and husband François-Henri Pinault rented it in November 2017.
Heath Hall is currently registered to Heath Investments Limited.
- Read more:
- The cavernous mansion once owned by the Saudi royal family, left to rot, and now home to squatters and dead mice
- The grand home of Britain’s first porn baron, who quit school at 15, built a media empire, then sold it
- The Russian financier’s home hit by one of the city’s most lucrative burglaries then ravaged by fire
- Salman Rushdie’s one-time fortified safe house at 9 The Bishops Avenue
- A steel tycoon’s ‘Summer Palace’ with 12 bathrooms and a basement pool
- This garish mansion has hosted Mikhail Gorbachev and Simon Cowell and was once Britain’s most expensive home
- Greek fashion tycoon’s home that became a Reddit-famous murder scene on New Year’s Day 1985