Shaftesbury to give Chinatown shops a facelift

Kasmira Jefford
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WEST END landlord Shaftesbury said yesterday it is looking to shake up Chinatown by refurbishing some of the buildings and bringing in new restaurant operators from the Far East, as the group posted strong full-year figures.

Chinatown, which makes up 22 per cent of Shaftesbury’s portfolio, has the largest concentration of restaurants in the UK serving both the local Chinese community and the thousands of tourists that visit every week.

Executive director Thomas Welton told City A.M.: “It is mass catering, serving all those hungry mouths visiting from the theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue. But there is also an opportunity to move it up a notch.

“Its about improving the quality and diversity of restaurants,” he added.

With the area starved for space, the group said is breaking up some of the large restaurants to make space for more units as well as creating new flats above the restaurants when leases come up for renewal.

The group, which owns 560 properties across the West End, posted a 14 per cent rise in net asset value (NAV) to 567p per share for the year to 30 September thanks to a £174m revaluation gain across its portfolio.