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Luxury brands 'look to east London'

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A number of luxury fashion houses including Christian Louboutin are weighing up the potential of London’s trendy Shoreditch area, it has been reported.

The area is set to become a “mini Bond Street”, with Vivienne Westwood and Ralph Lauren also among those expressing an interest, according to a report from Reuters.

The claims came as a property expert from Colliers International suggested that rents could be set to rise sharply in the area over the coming years.

Unnamed sources told Reuters that Louboutin was close to finalising a deal for a store on Redchurch Street, close to the Boundary Hotel. This is an area in which rents could be set to rise, according to Rob Fay, Colliers International head of central London retail agency.

When Bishops Square, south of Shoreditch High Street, was redeveloped in 2005 rents per sq ft were around £65-£75. However they have now risen to £135 per sq ft, and Fay said the next half-decade could see the same kind of increase on Redchurch Street.

The claims come as the area becomes ever more popular with firms in the creative industries thanks to its low rents and cutting-edge, underground reputation – something which has drawn in fashion labels, art galleries and niche bars in recent years.

Another source claimed that Vivienne Westwood, the influential designer who created the fashions to accompany the 1970s punk movement, has plans for a 2,000 sq ft premises. It was also claimed that Ralph Lauren is hoping to expand its UK offering with a 4,000 sq ft premises.

Michael Newell, a property agent at local firm Dominion, said that the past decade has seen retail property values reach more than £500 per sq ft in some areas – more than double their figure in 2001.

Speaking to Reuters, local landlord John Lovell compared Shoreditch to Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, which became fashionable thanks to its industrial setting and top restaurants and boutiques in the 1990s.

Meanwhile, a £485m project from developer Hammerson is in the pipeline, with plans to create about 630,000 sq ft of offices and shops as well as 299 homes south of Shoreditch High Street.

Ministers have also talked-up plans of developing the area into a Silicon Valley-style media hub after Google leased an office at the Old Street roundabout in September.




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