The Queen’s property company Crown Estate is close to signing a £320m deal with a Canadian pension fund to build “St James’s Market”.
The new development, between Regent Street and Haymarket, would be 50,000 square feet of shopping and restaurant space, with 210,000 square feet of office space.
The Canadian pension fund called Oxford Properties is a subsidiary of Omers, the Ontario metropolitan employees’ retirement fund. It is taking a 50% stake in the development with Crown Estate.
Oxford Properties is also working with British Land to develop the “Cheesegrater” Building in Leadenhall in the City.
Speaking about the development, Paul Clark, the Crown Estate’s director of investment and asset management, told the Standard: “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.”
Mat Oakley, head of commercial research at property agency Savills, said, “The Canadians have been a major player in the global investment market, driven in part by the strength of their domestic economy through the global downturn. Now you would put them in the world’s top five or six most active cross-border buyers, which is amazing compared to where they where 10 years ago. They’ve probably spent close to £40bn outside Canada.”
The development is a part of Crown Estates’ £500m investment programme for St James’s where it own a £1bn property portfolio, comprising nearly 50 per cent of the buildings there.