This property investment firm now owns a huge chunk of Seven Dials after acquiring six more shops for £25m

Lucy White
London's Christmas Retail Rush Begins
Neal Street is located near Covent Garden market (Source: Shaftesbury)

West End investment firm Shaftesbury announced this morning that it has acquired six more shops on London's Neal Street, in Seven Dials, for £24.6m.

This means Shaftesbury now owns a whopping 70 per cent of the shops on the northern section of Neal Street, the busy road which connects Covent Garden Underground station to Shaftesbury Avenue.

The new buildings are adjacent to ones which Shaftesbury already owned, and have a combined floorspace of 5,200 square feet.

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"Situated close to the Tottenham Court Road Crossrail hub, the northern end of Neal Street is forecast to see material footfall growth once the Elizabeth Line service starts in December 2018," said Shaftesbury chief executive Brian Bickell.

"Current rental tones on this part of the street are significantly lower than at the southern end. However, with the benefit of growing footfall, together with the careful curation and coherent tenant selection strategy we will implement, we expect to see this differential in rents to narrow significantly over the medium term."

The deal comes just one day after Transport for London announced that the Elizabeth Line would open in one year.

Currently the buildings pull in £0.6m of contracted income per annum. Other shops on the street include names such as shoe shop Office, Lee Jeans and Speedo.

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Shaftesbury, which owns 14.9 acres of building in London's West End focused on restaurants, leisure and retail, saw its share price dip by 0.39 per cent to £10.16 following the announcement of the new deal.

Analysts at Liberum said the firm was driving "values and rental growth which is unparalleled in the sector", but added that it had attracted a "premium rating". Liberum recommended a "hold" and target price of £10.75.

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