LAND Securities has managed to secure tenants for 96 per cent of its retail space in the One New Change shopping centre on Cheapside, over a month before the firm expects construction to end.
The property developer said yesterday it is in talks over the remaining handful of units, which include the two rooftop cafes overlooking St Paul’s cathedral that Gordon Ramsey and Jamie Oliver rejected as being too small.
The two restaurateurs have since signed deals elsewhere in the development, and will trade alongside around 60 other retailers in 220,000 square foot of retail space when the development opens on 28 October.
Land Securities retail manager David Atcherley-Symes denied that fashion chains were just attracted to the Square Mile by the cheaper retail rents.
“The lets include several shops such as Topshop which have always been looking for places in the City but have never been able to find a space big enough,” he told City A.M. yesterday.
“Rents are obviously less in the City than they are in the West End, but the amounts we’re talking about reflect rents that were being paid on Cheapside two years ago.”
He added that some shops have signed rent agreements that are tied to turnover, meaning they will pay less rent if sales are disappointing.
“Some of the firms have never been to the City before, and they are a bit wary. To help them get over that we are sharing the risk, and we are confident in the strategy,” he said.
FAST FACTS | LAND SECURITIES
Land Securities is the biggest property company in the UK.
It owns more than 29m square feet of UK real estate, including the landmark Piccadilly Lights building and the Ministry of Justice HQ.