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Offices in St James’s are highly sought after, St James’s being a location that is only a stone’s throw away from the ever popular and most desirable location of all, Mayfair. We, at Morgan Pryce therefore receive many requirements for the area of St James’s, and throughout the coming months we have found it harder and harder to secure space in this area due to the lack of supply, the market within this proximity becoming almost as tight as Mayfair. So it’s great news to know that only last week, City Westminster have granted planning permission for the Crown Estate’s proposal at St James’s Market in which they have proposed to develop two blocks to provide office space.
The West End rarely has the opportunity to obtain a redevelopment proposal that is majorly based on providing office space, as residential space is worth three times as much as commercial space, and recently Westminster City Council has been accused of allowing too many residential schemes to go ahead and be prioritised over commercial developments.
The Crown Estate’s bid is to include a commercial redevelopment of two blocks that are based on Regent Street and on Haymarket to create 211,000 sq ft of office space as well as 50,000 sq ft of retail and restaurant space. Both of these blocks will be majorly overhauled and we will see major work going in at both Regent Street and Haymarket.
The Crown Estate’s development scheme will see the Haymarket building completely demolished and replaced with a new eight storey high office building, while the Regent Street building’s interior will be demolished and the facades will be retained and replaced with an eight storey office building with ground floor retail space.
As said by Eugene O’Sullivan MRICS, director at Morgan Pryce, “This scheme, along with the Crown Estates Gateway Scheme and the refurbishments that are underway at Trafalger and British Columbia House will produce a transformed West End. “
As planning permission has only just been granted for the redevelopment of the two blocks on Regent Street, the offices in St James’s will most probably not be available for occupation until at least 2018, but this will hopefully be the first of more schemes within the West End to provide commercial space, and to alleviate the lack of supply that the market is coping with at the moment.
Morgan Pryce is a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.