May 29, 2013
The Crown Estate, which manages the Queen’s property portfolio has announced a joint 50/50 – £320 million venture with Canadian real estate company, Oxford Properties. The Crown Estate, which will retain the freehold and take the lead role in the development says the St James’s scheme will provide 210,000 ft2 of prime office and 50,000 ft2 of flagship retail and restaurant space in two blocks located between London’s Regent Street and Haymarket. The project forms part of the Crown Estate’s ten-year investment strategy for St James’s and will transform a run-down back street service yard and taxi ‘rat-run’ with: “a fantastic new amenity for St James’s, revitalising half and acre of public realm and creating a new 10,000 ft2 pedestrian square for world-class business, shopping and dining.”
Explained Paul Clark, Director of Investment and Asset Management: “Partnering with an organisation of the calibre of Oxford Properties speaks volumes about the market’s confidence in our specialist approach to managing third party funds. St James’s Market will deliver the most ambitious redevelopment in St James’s in the last century and represents a major tipping point for our strategy for the area.”
Paul Brundage, Executive Vice President, Senior Managing Director, Oxford Properties said: “St James’s Market represents a truly exciting opportunity for us to partner with one of London’s foremost property companies on a landmark project that will transform a historic corner of London. Our organisations are not only aligned financially but so too are our beliefs, values, approach and long-term view. We look forward to working with The Crown Estate and bringing our global and local development expertise to realise the vision for St James’s Market.”
The St James’s Market joint venture is the third major partnership the Crown Estate has established for its central London holdings in recent years. Next month it is set to complete the £100 million Gateway development a 50:50 limited partnership with Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.