The old Highbury has been transformed into a £500m luxury housing complex
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A former Premier League stadium has been converted into a luxury housing complex worth close to half a billion pounds.
Highbury, Arsenal’s iconic North London ground for nearly a century and the home turf of the club’s famous ‘Invincibles’ side of 2003-04, has not been used as sporting venue since 2006, when the Gunners moved to the newly-built Emirates Stadium.
Following the move, building began on an apartment complex comprising 650 flats, which range from anywhere between £400k and £800k each, giving the total development a value of nearly £500million.
Renamed Highbury Square, the site retains much of its rich footballing history.
As Grade II listed buildings, the stadium’s East and West Stands remain largely intact, with the exteriors still adoring the club name, colours, and crest.
The flats were even officially opened for business by then Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger in 2009, while the bust of legendary manager Herbert Chapman can still be gazed upon in the same marble corridors.
A lot has changed, however. The site, which was first built in 1913 and designed by the prolific architect Archibald Leitch – the man behind the likes of Old Trafford, Anfield, White Hart Lane and Stamford Bridge – has been given a distinctly modern twist.
Most of the flats are open plan, with many fitted with balconies overlooking what was once the Highbury pitch, but is now a series of plush gardens.
The complex is also fitted with underground parking, an on-site gym, and 24-hour security.
In 2020, Wenger told beIN Sports that Arsenal had "left their soul" at Highbury following the move to the Emirates, but also admitted that "to compete with the other clubs, we had to build a new stadium”.
Meanwhile, speaking to Sky Sports in the same year, Thierry Henry, the Gunners’ all-time record goalscorer who scored the final ever goal at Highbury, said: “It's difficult to put into words what Highbury represented to me or any Arsenal fans,”
"I kissed the ground for a reason and at the time, people thought I was going to leave Arsenal and go to Barcelona and that's why I kissed the ground.
Highbury (1913 - 2006) Arsenal FC— COPA90 (@Copa90) June 6, 2022
Officially known as Arsenal Stadium, it was popularly referred to as Highbury because of location. Famous for its marble halls and the clock end. Saw the club's biggest glory days. Now a residential complex, the east stand kept its exterior. pic.twitter.com/x3vQIvpWCD
He added: “I actually kissed the ground goodbye because I knew it was over. I was never going to play in my garden again.”