Big improvements set for Covent Garden

Over the years Covent Garden has witnessed some incredible changes, transitioning from a notorious red light district to a fruit and veg market, to a public outcry that saved its buildings and the historic square, then to become the international retail hotspot that it is today. The current owners CapCo took over in 2006 and at their 10 year anniversary they certainly had a lot to celebrate.

Since taking control they have managed to lure brands such Apple, Chanel, and Sushi Samba, who’s collective international presence has led to an increase in demand for the area. One part of their careful strategy is a short lease scheme which is set at 5 years for retail and 10–15 years for food & beverage, this sets a high standard for newcomers who know full well that there is a long line of competitors ready to take their place should they not perform. The shop types surrounding the famous piazza have slowly been grouped together to make the shopping experiences that much more convenient, with fashion predominantly to the north and food primarily to the south.

CapCo are keen to keep the area moving with the times and are currently in the middle of their biggest project to date, the transformation of Kings Court into Floral Court. What is now a private courtyard will be transformed into a public space that will not only create better pedestrian flow, but also generate a much needed area for people to relax in this bustling part of the city. 20,000 SF of new retail space will be become available, taken from places that were previously used as offices.

Also due to be completed in the coming years is a new 83 bed boutique hotel that will be located at Wellington house. The project is back by Robert De Niro, this being his third venture into hospitality, and will no doubt spread some Hollywood glamour across London. Overall there is plenty to look forward to as the West End continues to be one of the most sought after locations in the world, and continues to grow as we see a march eastwards beyond Kingsway and south to Strand.

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