The retail scene in Victoria, London, SW1 has witnessed a dramatic transformation over recent years, which was largely kick started by the Cardinal Place scheme developed by Land Securities in 2006. This development proved the catalyst for other land owners to change their retail strategy and improve the offering to the areas many commercial occupiers and tourists who had previously coped with a fairly vanilla offering of retail and restaurant outlets, without anything being too exciting.
The Land Securities scheme at Nova is now open with a number of restaurants having commenced trading, and others expected to open over the course of the next few weeks. There are 18 restaurants in total and the scheme will fill a much needed gap in the SW1 restaurant market. Previously, the SW1 retail/restaurant market provided some very high end restaurants including the Cinnamon Club, Roux on Parliament Square and Quillon, but below this there wasn’t much to fill the middle ground before you hit the more mainstream restauranteurs including Pizza Express, Nandos etc. Nova brings with it a number of celebrity restauranteurs who recognise the change in demographic in office occupier in SW1 and the change from its historical heartland of oil and Government to a new and exciting type of occupier centred round the fashion industry, with tenants in the area including Armani, Burberry, Tom Ford, Jimmy Choo amongst others. This change in office occupier type has also led to the retail offering improving significantly and areas such as Strutton Ground which have historically been a run down market street having witnessed huge improvements, both in terms of its aspect and in terms of the retailers seeking to trade from this location. Going forward, we firmly believe that the improved retail restaurant offering will encourage other high profile tenants to move to the area as Victoria moves away from its traditional office occupier base of oil and Government companies. In addition, the area is now becoming a 7 day retail destinations, which is helped by the presence of a number of theatres in the area and the Curzon Cinema on Victoria Street. A number of developments are currently underway which will further enhance the retail and restaurant offering including the Buckingham Green development which is due for completion in 2018 and will provide a further 12,000 sq ft of new and exciting retail and restaurant facilities.