Developers’ Independent Vision for White City Redevelopment
In this post, we’ll summarise some of the key stories coming out of London leisure property landlords. Here, we’ll explore the redevelopment taking place in West London following the news that the former BBC HQ is to become the heart of London’s next hotspot: White City.
With housing, offices, mixed retail and leisure property comprising this new community, White City will be a high-end destination with a couture, boutique spirit.
1908 saw the creation of the White City Stadium, set-up to hold the Olympics in London over a century before the capital would do so again in Stratford. Later, the district became the home of the BBC HQ.
Now, however, the building and surrounding estates are undergoing a transformation. Some of the developments include 5,000 new homes, a media village, a science campus for Imperial College (“Imperial West”), and a new Soho House hotel.
Two well-known London developers are carrying out the work: Stanhope and St James. Stanhope is now the owner of the old BBC television centre and is taking advantage of the surrounding space to redevelop it in a number of ways. St James has secured the planning for up to 1,465 new homes over the next fifteen years.
The BBC HQ itself will be revamped, work to be completed by developer Stanhope, to make way for new commercial lettings.
Two million sq ft of offices will provide 19,000 new jobs, turning the old television centre into one of the main focus points for the overall White City development.
The developer’s plan for the building is to open up what used to be a strictly private space to the community by creating plenty of new homes. Stanhope’s goal is to “turn a private place into a public one by stitching the site back into the local area, with new landscaped routes through to Hammersmith Park and surrounding communities”.
One of its plans, for example, includes a residential community of mansion block-style buildings called ‘The Crescent’. This should be good news for commercial landlords and operators, as homeowners are likely to be of a high net worth, and therefore have a higher-than-average amount of disposable income. The redevelopment’s success is so assured that Soho House have already signed up to place one of their boutique clubs on the roof of this exciting new opportunity.
There will also be a variety of mixed leisure and restaurant units available within, with the BBC Centre amongst the various businesses that make the building their home. The market potential for this development alone is substantial. With leading brands like Soho House taking advantage of this unique space, the high-end, prestige market for the new development is assured. It also demonstrates a high level of trust from the sorts of leading, well-respected and boutique operators that the landlords are trying to develop.
White City Place
The masterplan for the White City area is to turn it into a neighbourhood similar to Notting Hill and Holland Park. Alongside the Television Centre, Stanhope are developing White City Place, a brand new commercial centre that that will sit alongside a new Imperial College campus that aims to bring the university’s incredible record for science and technology innovation to this west London destination.
White City Place will be comprised of 6 existing buildings of 950,000 sq ft and a 4-acre development site. Three of these buildings will be repurposed and developed into a modern office cluster that will attract high-worth individuals into the area. 3,000 BBC staff will continue to make White City Place a thriving creative environment.
The leisure sector will be well represented across the development, with plans for independent operators to feature heavily throughout. Current plans include space for a gym and an independent cinema (although there is rumoured interest from the Everyman Cinema chain).
Developer St James won the contract to acquire the old M&S distribution warehouse in 2013. To complement the work being completed by Stanhope, St James will be building 1,500 new homes – including ‘affordable homes’, as well as forming a new 3.7-acre public park for White City.
The restaurant industry will also be well-represented, with 40,000 sq ft allocated to food and beverage retail.
Championing Locals and Independents
One of the central development philosophies attached to White City is that the area must champion independent operators, and create an open local community. Ultimately, the aim is for a self-fulfilling hub of neighbourhood consumers. This means that independent restaurateurs can take their place alongside the various businesses and home owners at White City, and deliver their dining experience to a premium market looking for high quality and distinct concepts.
Restaurant Property’s Mark Calder speaking of the opportunity for leisure operators has said:
‘White City presents an exciting new market for leisure and restaurant operators at the beating heart of West London. With an affluent local demographic, boutique, independent and non-branded operators will be extremely desirable in this up and coming community.’
Restaurant Property’s London leisure property specialists have their finger on the pulse of the capital’s dining scene. If you are a leisure sector landlord interested in White City, contact one of our experts today.< Back