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Plans submitted for £450 million St James’s Market transformation

10 September 2012

Architect's impression of St James's Market

We have submitted four planning applications as part of a £450 million redevelopment plan that will transform a major part of St James's and create nearly 340,000 ft2 of mixed use accommodation between Regent Street and Haymarket.

The lead scheme, known as St James's Market, is a commercial redevelopment of two blocks to create 211,000 ft2 of office and 50,000 ft2 of retail and restaurant accommodation and includes world-class 21st century architecture and preserved historic facades, together with a traffic free public realm, which will bring the area back into line with the quality of historic St James's.

St James's Market, a scheme by Make Architects, is a redevelopment of 14-20 Regent Street and 52-56 Haymarket. The Haymarket block would be replaced, whilst the Regent Street block would be redeveloped behind both retained and new façades. A new amenity for the St James's village will be created with a revitalisation of a 24,000 ft2 public area and the creation of a 10,000 ft2 pedestrian square with public art.

The proposals mark the next stage of our investment programme for St James's where we own a £1.1 billion, 4 million ft2 portfolio, comprising nearly 50 per cent of the buildings in the area. This investment is guided by the St James's Strategies, launched in 2011, and sees continued investment in our core sectors, where we enjoy a competitive advantage, critical mass and high levels of expertise.

James Cooksey, Head of St James's Portfolio said: "Our investment in St James's builds on the area's status by providing a first rate destination amenity space for those living, working and visiting the area. Together with our Gateway scheme and investment in Trafalgar House and British Columbia House, it demonstrates the major progress we're making in delivering on our St James's strategy."

Commenting on the proposals, Alastair Smart, Head of Development said: "St James's Market is perhaps the most significant development we have ever undertaken and builds on the two schemes currently on site as part of our investment in St James's and Regent Street to provide modern space for global businesses."

The scheme takes its name from the now lost area of St James's Market, which between the 17th and 19th centuries offered a spacious street of inns, entertainment, and a busy hay and straw market, attended by 1,300 hay and straw carts a month. In the early 19th century when John Nash redeveloped Regent Street this historic area was lost.

The St James's Market proposals also include three associated private residential and affordable housing schemes. These will create new homes totalling 60,000 ft2, ranging from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom family homes.

In March 2012 The Crown Estate consulted the local community and received strong levels of positive feedback on the proposals, particularly in relation to the improvements to the accommodation and quality of the public areas in St James's.

Proposals for the four sites have been developed by Make Architects, Tate Hindle, Paul Davis & Partners and Burwell Deakins. CBRE has provided planning advice.

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