SoHo, London, England

Living in SoHo

Iyna Bort Caruso

The history of London’s Soho district had its ups and downs--but it’s never been dull.

This one-square-mile area in the West End is a major entertainment hub, always animated and energetic. Music, cabaret, comedy and LGBTQ-friendly clubs line Soho’s narrow streets and alleyways, as do live theater venues and post-theater hangouts. The district is also home to film studio offices and production facilities.

The area is well served by buses and the Underground. The delayed yet highly awaited arrival of Crossrail will cut commuter times considerably and shave Heathrow Airport runs down to 30 minutes.

Numerous museums and parks are within walking distance. Soho Square is an expansive green patch that was originally laid out in the late 17th century. During World War II, it housed a temporary underground bomb shelter. For fashionistas, Carnaby Street, the stomping grounds of London’s mod set of the 1960s, continues to be a destination for chic British brands. Luxe labels are nearby in the posh Mayfair neighborhood.

From the early aristocracy to beatnik culture, Soho has welcomed all. The likes of Karl Marx, William Blake, Sir Isaac Newton, and even Mozart all lived here in this dynamic pocket of the capital at one time or another.

Although still a hotbed of commercial activity, over the last few decades Soho has gradually become more residential, attracting both British and international buyers.  Some buyers are downsizing empty nesters from the suburbs or pieds-a-terre investors drawn to Soho’s prime location near theaters and restaurants. Young, affluent entrepreneurs are another sizable group who’ve taken up residence.

New, ground-up developments are highly desirable, if somewhat limited. Most properties are period buildings, either in the form of single-family Georgian homes, warehouse and office-to-residential conversions or luxury flats carved out from mansions.