Dec 21, 2017
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Shaftesbury buys more store space in Seven Dials

Dec 21, 2017

London retail landlord Shaftesbury said it has made a major property acquisition in the Seven Dials area adjacent to Covent Garden.

Shaftesbury now owns more of Seven Dials, the fast-transforming London shopping neighbourhood

The purchase includes six buildings on Neal Street for £24.6 million and adds to the company’s existing portfolio that covers 14.9 acres in London’s West End.

It may not sound like the most exciting piece of news, but it’s vitally important to the ongoing development of the area as Shaftesbury proves to be one of the most forward-looking landlords in the area.

It is helping to turn Seven Dials into London’s most interesting developing retail neighbourhood. And while some of the quirky indy stores that previously marked it out as different are leaving, at least they’re not being replaced by identikit giant global chains.

The properties are at the northern end of Neal Street, between Short’s Gardens and Shaftesbury Avenue, and are adjacent to existing properties that Shaftesbury owns. The new buy includes six stores covering 5,200 sq ft and increases the firm’s ownership of that part of Neal Street to around 70%.

CEO Brian Bickell said: “Situated close to the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail hub, the northern end of Neal Street is forecast to see material footfall growth once the Elizabeth Line service starts in December 2018.

“Current rental tones on this part of the street are significantly lower than at the southern end. However, with growing footfall, careful curation and [the] coherent tenant selection strategy we will implement, we expect to see rents to narrow significantly over the medium term.”

What that means in practice is a likely refurbishment with more space that would be attractive to fashion, beauty or lifestyle names. 

Such retailers have been flocking to Seven Dials in recent periods as the area benefits from improving footfall plus its reputation as a tourist destination. It has become known for its strong beauty, jewellery and accessories line-up, as well as an interesting fashion mix. It has also seen a steady move upmarket as more higher-end brands move in.

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