Iconic London Retail Landmark Goes On Sale
The owners of London's iconic Burlington Arcade, Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman, have announced plans to sell the renowned global luxury retail destination, and have selected global property advisor CBRE to market the property.
The Burlington Arcade, an iconic runway uniting Piccadilly and Bond Street and adjacent to the Royal Academy, has been heralded as a true luxury landmark ever since it was unveiled to great acclaim in 1819. The Arcade has long been favored by royalty, celebrities and British society as the home of rare gemstones, vintage watches, bespoke footwear, and the finest leather and cashmere accessories.
Since 2010, Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman have sensitively repositioned the 0.5 acre freehold West End estate into a leading global luxury destination. Whilst preserving its character as the home of British luxury, the retailer tenant mix has been progressively enhanced to comprise recognized luxury accessories brands, Royal Warrant holders and bespoke craftsmanship.
Recently redesigned by British architect Jamie Fobert, the historic space now features beautiful stone floors sourced from English quarries, as well as restored original details including the building's grand upper arches.
In 2014, the Burlington Arcade welcomed a string of Chanel-owned labels--swim and lingerie label Eres, watchmaker Bell & Ross, milliner Maison Michael and knit label Barrie. They joined a roster of established retailers including Ladurée, Vilebrequin, Chanel, Harry's of London, The Vintage Rolex Watch Company, Lulu Guinness and Church's. More recently, the Arcade welcomed luxury brands Manolo Blahnik, Frederic Malle, La Perla, and historic perfume house Atkinsons.
"The Burlington Arcade is a historical and architectural masterpiece, and one of the most renowned retail destinations in the world," said Joseph Sitt, CEO of Thor Equities. "With its magnificent redesign and new luxury tenants, the property will remain a treasured London destination for generations to come."
The longest covered shopping street in the United Kingdom with approximately 37,000 sq. ft. of retail space and a combined frontage of over 1,100 sq. ft., the Arcade attracts over four million visitors a year.
"We have restored the luster to this gem of a property and benefited from the anticipated surge in demand of brands from across the globe that are seeking to open stores in London's luxury shopping quarter of Mayfair," Markus Meijer, CEO of Meyer Bergman, said, adding "Burlington Arcade is one of our signature investments."
On behalf of Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman, CBRE has launched a global marketing campaign which is expected to attract significant investor interest particularly from the Middle East and Far East.
Head of UK Retail at CBRE, Phil Cann, who is leading the sale (together with Toby Cooper of Thor Equities and Eric van Duren of Meyer Bergman), comments, "Burlington Arcade is known worldwide and we expect the sale to attract strong interest from investors in the UK and around the globe. Our clients have been great custodians of this highly sought after retail destination over the past six years and this sale presents an extremely rare opportunity to acquire a unique part of London's heritage."
"Furthermore, the weakening of the pound and favorable exchange rates fuelling tourist spending means prime London retail is a very attractive prospect to foreign buyers. London remains the number one gateway city to Europe for retailers and investors alike, and this is set to continue."
According to CBRE, investors acquired £2.3 billion of Central London prime retail property in 2016 with Oxford Street and Bond Street accounting for almost three quarters of the total. Drawn by the international brand presence, long leases and rental growth guaranteed by the capital, international buyers accounted for 80% of volumes this year - a sizeable jump from the 65% in both 2015 and 2014.