London's Property Prices Push Sex Out of Soho

Fancy bars and high-end flats take over a London red-light district
Walker’s Court: The alleyway where prostitutes roamed will be a high-end apartment complex Photograph by Alamy

London’s property wave is swamping the world’s oldest profession. The central Soho district’s prostitutes and sex cinemas are being overwhelmed by upscale restaurants, bars, hotels, and apartments in an echo of the transformation of New York’s Times Square in the 1990s. “When I started 30 years ago, there was a long run of peep shows,” says Paul Giorgio, who runs a fish-and-chips shop in the central London district. “Now people come in here and ask me, ‘Where’s Soho?’ If you take the sex industry away from here, you take away Soho. But I suppose they’ve got to if they want to make the money.”

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