Major landlord plans 'facelift' for London's West End
One of London’s biggest landlords is to spend £1 billion in a 10-year plan to upgrade its estate. Grosvenor Group’s properties take in some of the most prestigious fashion and luxury retail locations in the West End and Mayfair and the aim includes to create a more pleasant environment with more experiential spaces, better tech and am improved offer for retail tenants.
Grosvenor, which manages £6.5 billion worth of assets for the Duke of Westminster, is spending heavily at a time of big change for the West End with the Mayor of London’s strategy of pedestrianising Oxford Street and the soon-to-open Crossrail public transport project set to send visitor numbers soaring.
The investment includes the fashion and lifestyle offer in Belgravia's Elizabeth Street and Grosvenor’s lifestyle hub in Eccleston Yards. And it will take in key shopping locations North Audley Street, Duke Street and Mount Street (the latter housing stores for major names including Céline, Balenciaga, Oscar de la Renta, Loewe and Pringle of Scotland.)
The money will also include a £2 million spend to “improve the West End’s digital resilience, bring down barriers for local businesses and future-proof consumers’ use of the internet.”
Grosvenor actually said last year that it would invest in boosting the not-very-impressive broadband and wifi in the area and with consumers increasingly expecting good connectivity to help their omnichannel shopping efforts, that makes good commercial sense.
Craig McWilliam, CEO, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: “As the most productive part of London and the whole country, the West End is a major contributor to the economic health of the UK. However, it faces fierce international and domestic competition and we cannot be complacent about its continued prestige, popularity or productivity.
“Our estate has huge potential to work harder and contribute more to the capital and this major long term commitment is a bold vote of confidence in the West End’s future.”
Joanna Lea, Director of Retail Leasing, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland added: “Our landmark retail streets act as the shop window to the London estate and play a critical role in its success. As brands focus on ‘must-visit’ locations, adapt to digital trends and the desire for immersive experiences, we must deliver a wider, more integrated blend of retail, culture and food and leisure opportunities driven by deeper collaboration with retailers. The transformation of our retail portfolio will see our stores, streets and places respond to changing habits.”
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