London's Mayfair bounces back from pandemic
Central London footfall may still be lagging the pre-pandemic period but the upscale Mayfair and Belgravia area controlled by Grosvenor is recovering as far as occupancy is concerned.
Grosvenor said it now has a vacancy rate of only 3% across its Mayfair and Belgravia portfolio, which compares well to the UK average of 14%.
The company said that its “revolutionary approach to the landlord/tenant relationship and implementing initiatives like rent waving and the Tenant Investment Fund has meant plenty of new brands opened their doors in the last year”.
The Tenant Investment Fund supports business expansion plans at a time when bank funding is constrained. While the area is home of some of global fashion’s big names, the fund and the landlord’s wider suite of services for occupiers is particularly directed at independent businesses which form around two-thirds of its retail and hospitality occupier base.
Although a quarter of last year was spent in lockdown, and the arrival of Omicron in late 2021 looked like it might derail the recovery, in the last 12 months, 33 new brands opened their doors in Mayfair and Belgravia, including skincare specialist Barbara Sturm’s UK debut.
Amelia Bright, Executive Director, Grosvenor, said: “In the past two years, we’ve worked hard turn the concept of a landlord on its head and to make the choice of who occupiers contract with as important to them as the choice of street, connectivity and rent.
“When lockdowns hit our goal was that Mayfair and Belgravia would come out the other side as strong as when we went in, with shops and restaurants open and ready to welcome everyone back.
“Waving rent in lockdowns was a highly effective early intervention. But it’s really been our actions since then, like the Tenant Investment Fund, which have fundamentally changed the nature and number of the conversations we’re having.”
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