Capco’s Covent Garden estate value slumps as Covid-19 takes its toll
The owner of Covent Garden revealed on Tuesday that the value of the Central London destination has declined by £400 million over the past six months.
The estate, one of London’s best shopping areas, has been badly hit by the coronavirus crisis, with store closures forcing many of the company’s tenants to halt trading.
Capital & Counties’ Covent Garden empire saw its value drop by 17% from £2.6bn at the end of December to £2.2bn at the end of June.
The retail, leisure and food and beverage portfolio accounts for 75% of the property’s value. In addition to lower leasing activity, a number of tenants entered administration during the lockdown, further hurting Capco’s revenues.
The property firm said: "As a long-term investor in the estate, Capco took early action ensuring the safety and security of Covent Garden whilst also providing support on a case by case basis to customers experiencing cash flow challenges as a result of Covid-19. This supports the reopening of stores during this period of significant disruption, ensuring the business is well positioned to benefit from a recovery and prosper over the medium-term.
“Bespoke solutions have been agreed which include rent deferrals, rent-free periods and other arrangements reflecting the position of each customer. For certain tenants which are experiencing short-term cash flow issues, rental agreements will be linked to turnover for the second half of the year in exchange for other provisions such as lease extensions."
The business said it is collaborating with stakeholders to promote Covent Garden and the West End as shoppers return to stores. Benefiting from a new al fresco, socially distanced dining area on the Piazza, Covent Garden is preparing to welcome the opening of American Vintage later this year.
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