Investment giant Blackstone snaps up £230m worth of New Bond Street retail space

12th April 2024 | Jack Oliver

American investment management company Blackstone has acquired £230m worth of retail space on London’s New Bond Street.

The New York-based asset manager has snapped up 31,000 sq ft of space at 130-134 New Bond Street, The Times reports.

The unit is currently let to luxury watchmakers Breitling and Audemars Piguet, as well as shoemaker Church’s. Smythson, the stationer, recently vacated the unit in a bid to cut costs.

New Bond Street is the UK’s most expensive street for prime retail rentals, according to Cushman & Wakefield, and is ranked second in Europe behind Via Monte Napoleone in Milan. It is home to brands such as Burberry, Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Prada and Valentino.

Blackstone – which owns offices, warehouses, and country clubs in Britain – has typically avoided investing in the British retail sector.

James Seppala, head of real estate in Europe at Blackstone, told The Times: “There are certain streets around the world, whether it’s Rue Saint-Honoré in Paris or Via Monte Napoleone in Milan or New Bond Street in London, which have seen really consistent occupier demand.

“Luxury brands and retailers have really focused on expanding their footprints across some of these locations [where space] is finite. These streets only run from one end to another and they’re not getting any longer.”

He added that Blackstone was open to buying more retail assets in Britain and Europe, not only on expensive shopping streets:

“Increasingly, I think, the sector is interesting for investors.

“It’s not necessarily luxury versus non-luxury, but at the same time I don’t think we’ll be buying an enclosed shopping mall on the outskirts of a small town next week.

“Retail is such a huge sector, but there are certain formats, whether it’s grocery, retail parks, outlets or prime high street, that have demonstrated their resilience.”


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