British Land acquires the Woolwich Estate in south east London for £103m

Caitlin Morrison
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British Land has bought the estate to capitalise on the opportunities Crossrail will bring (Source: Getty)

British Land has bought the Woolwich Estate for £103m, with plans to regenerate the space and bring in more retailers.

The Woolwich Estate comprises 56 retail units and has footfall of 6m, and the company said it "benefits from an improving local demographic with over 40 per cent of residents falling within the top three most affluent groups". It covers 360,000 sq ft of space in central Woolwich. Predominantly retail, it includes over 50,000 sq ft of residential and 3,000 sq ft of office space.

The estate is currently 95 per cent occupied, with an average lease length of under four years, and average rent of £17 per square foot.

Greenwich Council are investing £31m to coincide with the arrival of Crossrail to deliver a new "creative district" which will transform five historic buildings into theatre and concert space, with offices and restaurants.

Read more: The new Tube map featuring the Elizabeth Line has been revealed

British Land said the deal is in line with its "strategy of focusing on well-connected, mixed use assets which meet the evolving needs of our occupiers and their customers" and builds on a portfolio of places benefitting from the Elizabeth Line, including Broadgate, Paddington Central and Ealing Broadway.

According to the group, the Woolwich Estate is "already benefitting from significant regeneration", led by the Elizabeth Line which launches from Woolwich in December 2018. To coincide with this, 6,000 new homes have been built or are in the pipeline.

"This acquisition provides a unique opportunity to create a thriving retail-anchored centre, benefitting from a mix of uses in an exciting, increasingly well connected and rapidly regenerating part of London. We have a long term vision for the estate which will deliver space that works for retailers and their customers; which generates clear benefits for local communities and drives value for British Land," said Charles Maudsley, head of retail, leisure & residential at British Land.

"Across our London campuses and our multi-let retail properties, we have developed a clear and distinct advantage in managing mixed use environments with development potential, and in enhancing and enlivening our space through placemaking. This acquisition plays very well to those skills."

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