Developers ramp up residential element of ailing London malls
Both Land Securities and British Land have announced plans for large-scale residential projects on the site of suburban London malls, as residential values outstrip retail.
In its interim results statement for the six months to 30 September 2018, Landsec revealed it was working up two projects, at a combined cost of £1bn, for the residential-led redevelopment of the 02 centre at Finchley Road and at the West 12 centre in Shepherd’s Bush. Between them the two sites could provide 1,700 new homes. And it added that there was a longer-term opportunity at Lewisham town centre, in south-east London.
British Land has already unveiled plans to deliver 3,500 new homes at the Canada Water shopping centre in south-east London, but in its interim results announcement it said that it had now identified 4,000 to 5,000 residential unit opportunities across its portfolio.
And it said that these would primarily be Build to Rent, rather than for sale. In order to grow scale and obtain operational expertise in this growth market, BL said it was in exclusive discussions to acquire an established operator.
Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield has plans for large-scale residential elements uf up to 1,000 units at each of its three London sites in Shepherd’s Bush, Stratford and Croydon, while NewRiver and Capital & Regional are actively progressing residential-led redevelopment opportunities inside and beyond the capital. For instance C&R has consent for 500 units at the Mall Walthamstow.
It seems that every landlord sitting on a retail site in London is crunching the numbers and, more often than not, residential comes out on top.