St James aims to create homes and parkland on site of M &S "mock shop"
White City is set to have another 4,500 new homes and a new public park, after developer St James bought a ten acre site east of Wood Lane from Marks & Spencer.
M & S currently uses the site as a storage warehouse and "mock shop" for training purposes, but the company has reportedly been planning to move the facility to Park Royal.
The site was sold for a sum in the region of £100 million, to be paid over three years, during which M & S will lease it back while planning its move.
St James, which built the Lime Grove development in Shepherd's Bush and has another development in Hurlingham in Fulham, is part of the giant Berkeley Group, which also includes St George, currently building Chelsea Creek in Fulham, Fulham Reach on Hammersmith's embankment and soon to begin work transforming Kings Mall car park into a development called Sovereign Court.
Berkeley Group chairman Tony Pidgley says: " St James will use all its expertise in place-making to create a fantastic new location, with a public park, improved connections and homes for thousands of people.
" I am delighted to secure this important strategic site for West London."
The site is within the White City Opportunity area and at the heart of a major regeneration project led by Westfield, which plans to add an extension to the current shopping centre, Stanhope, which is redeveloping BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane and Imperial College London, which is building a new campus called Imperial West which it is extending to cover both sides of the A40 by buying the site formerly used by Dairy Crest. You can read about this here.
Sir Keith O’Nions, president and rector of Imperial College London says: " “With St James' acquisition, the major landowners in the White City Opportunity Area now have an exceptional opportunity to move forward with the comprehensive regeneration of this strategic site.
" Our new campus there, Imperial West, will anchor world-class research and innovation in the area, creating brand new facilities for the public, and generating major job opportunities.
"We are delighted that St James and neighbouring investors will also make significant contributions to improving the local economy and community. We look forward to working with St James, Hammersmith and Fulham and the GLA to help realise the area’s outstanding potential."
Sir Edward Lister, deputy mayor for planning, adds: "This an extremely positive step forward in the regeneration of White City which is set to deliver thousands of new homes. We have ambitious plans for this area’s wider development, seeking to build on its heritage, attract further investment and create jobs. I welcome St James’s Group’s contribution to this exciting vision."
Commercial property giant CBRE acted for M&S on the sale. Executive director Peter Burns says: " This deal allows M&S time to undertake a relocation, whilst releasing a significant piece of the jigsaw of one of London’s most exciting regeneration areas.
" The development sits within a larger regeneration zone, and the residential element will attract considerable interest due to its central London location and phenomenal educational, retail and leisure attractions."
July 2, 2013