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£450m plan for new St James’s destination gets go ahead

15 January 2013

Architect's impression of St James's Market

We have been given the go ahead from Westminster City Council's planning committee for our £450 million plans to create a new destination for London's St James's.

The scheme will deliver the most ambitious redevelopment of historic St James's in the last century.

The committee resolved to grant permission for four linked planning applications, anchored by a transformation of the area known as St James's Market. The redevelopment of two blocks will reconnect a currently isolated part of St James's between Haymarket and Regent Street with historic St James's.

The plans will deliver 31,600 m2 (340,000 ft2) of mixed-use accommodation as part of our 10 year St James's investment programme. The commercial redevelopment of two existing blocks will create 19,500 m2 (210,000 ft2) of prime office and 4,650 m2 (50,000 ft2) of flagship retail and restaurant accommodation. To deliver a new destination for London, a run-down back street service yard and taxi 'rat-run' will be replaced by a fantastic new amenity for St James's. This will revitalise half an acre of public realm and create a new 930 m2 (10,000 ft2) pedestrian square for world-class business, shopping and dining.

St James's Market, a scheme by Make Architects, brings together world-class 21st century architecture with preserved historic facades. It is a redevelopment of 14-20 Regent Street and 52-56 Haymarket. The Haymarket block will be replaced and the Regent Street block redeveloped behind retained and new façades. The St James's Market plans also include three associated residential schemes. These will create 20 private and 12 high-quality affordable homes, ranging from one bedroom apartments to four bedroom family homes.

Commenting on the proposals, Alastair Smart, Head of Development said: "St James's Market is the most exciting scheme that we have ever undertaken in the West End. It builds on our award winning development pipeline, which has seen us deliver more than a million square feet of space for global businesses over the last 11 years."

The scheme is the next stage of The Crown Estate's investment programme for St James's, where we own a £1.2 billion, 370,000 m2 (4 million ft2) portfolio, comprising nearly 50 per cent of the buildings in the area. This sees continued investment in our core sectors; central London, prime regional retail, renewable energy and strategic land, where we enjoy a competitive advantage, critical mass and high levels of expertise.

James Cooksey, Head of St James's Portfolio said: "We're delighted to be given a green light from Westminster for St James's Market; this a major tipping point for our St James's investment programme. Add this to our Gateway scheme, set for completion this summer, and refurbishments at Trafalgar House and British Columbia House, and it's clear we are delivering one of the most significant West End transformations since we started in Regent Street."

Ken Shuttleworth, of Make Architects said: "This is not only a major milestone for St James's but also a key project in Make's growing portfolio of heritage work. We have developed an excellent relationship with English Heritage and are delighted that Westminster has recommended approval for the site, it will be fantastic to see it delivered."

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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