Network Rail has purchased the leasehold of Victoria Place shopping centre in London for £91.8m.
The shopping centre comprises of 35 units and 11 permanent kiosks, with a total floorspace of 83,000 sq ft split over three floors. Network Rail bought the leasehold on the shopping centre, which sits directly above Victoria Station, from William Ewart.
Sainsbury’s is one of the main businesses currently located in Victoria Place, while casual dining, convenience and fashion brands can also be found in the building.
Network Rail already owns the freehold of Victoria Station and it says its latest purchase will be used to help alleviate congestion in the site. The group also says it will also look to improve the retail experience on offer by adding new restaurants, bars and shops.
Director of stations and customer service at Network Rail, Mike Goggin, said: “Over 70 million passengers rely on Victoria station for their journeys every year, making it one of the busiest stations in Britain. With this number of passengers the station can become very busy, particularly at peak times.
“The purchase of Victoria Place shopping centre will allow us, in due course, to reconfigure the current concourse to give passengers more space to move around, whilst at the same time continuing to provide the wide range of retail facilities people rely on at busy mainline stations.”
Network Rail’s purchase of Victoria Place is part of an ongoing plan to create ‘destination stations’ by increasing the amount of retail space and the revenue the facilities bring in. All profits made by Network Rail’s retail operations are reinvested in the railway, reducing the cost to passengers and taxpayers as a result.
Director of property David Biggs said: “Network Rail’s purchase of Victoria Place shopping centre is great news for passengers, great news for our retail partners and great news for the station. It’s one of the first steps to deliver our vision of creating destination stations where travellers, shoppers and families can enjoy unique retail experiences in exciting contemporary surroundings fit for today’s demanding customers and rail passengers.”
“Retail in stations continues to go from strength to strength. Our sales results consistently show growth levels well above the high street. We have the essential locations and high customer traffic to help brands perform to their full potential,” said Biggs.