Carnaby Street owner Shaftesbury raises new funding, buys more sites

Property owners are big news in the UK following Wednesday’s proposed Hammerson-Intu merger and while London-focused Shaftesbury is small compared to the mega-company the two giants are going to create, it also has plenty of news of its own.

Shaftesbury is expanding its ownership of the area around Carnaby Street

The Carnaby Street owner wants to acquired more space in central London and launched a £265 million fundraising to pursue that aim. 

It is using much of the cash raised to buy two Soho buildings, including  a block in Broadwick Street, Soho for £92 million. While that building is currently focused on offices and homes, analysts said that it has potential to be converted to retail use as the Soho area sees a new momentum once the area’s major transport projects are completed. 

Work in the West End is expected to boost footfall there by 60 million starting next year and Shaftesbury’s careful stewardship of Carnaby Street and large parts of Soho have helped boost their appeal to fashion retailers in recent years.

Shaftesbury will also hold back some of the funds raised for any future opportunities and will spend some of the proceeds on refurbishing existing properties.

CEO Brian Bickell said: "We are pleased to have secured the important, strategic ownership of 72 Broadwick Street, in the centre of Carnaby. It offers exciting opportunities to reconfigure space on the lower floors to provide new restaurant and retail space, adding to Carnaby's renowned variety of shops, restaurants and leisure choices. 

“The upgraded office and residential accommodation will benefit from their proximity to the new Crossrail ticket hall on Dean Street and Broadwick Street's growing profile and footfall as a major east-west route in Soho.

"Securing additional equity will support the continuing expansion of, and investment in, our exceptional portfolio located in the heart of London's West End."

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