The Crown Estate has launched plans for a £400m redevelopment of three sites in St. James's which will create 45,000sq.ft of restaurant, retail and leisure space in the area between Regent Street and Haymarket in central London.
The lead scheme, known as St. James’s Market, will be a commercial redevelopment of two blocks and will also create 200,000 sq ft of office accommodation.
St James’s Market, designed by Make Architects, will see the redevelopment of 14-20 Regent Street and 52-56 Haymarket. The Haymarket block would be replaced, while the Regent Street block would be redeveloped.
Alastair Smart, head of development at The Crown Estate, said the development would enhance the area's already strong reputation as a dining destination.
“The regeneration of St. James’s Market is an opportunity to revive a neglected location at the heart of London, bringing it back into line with historic St James’s for the benefit of 21st century businesses, local residents and visitors alike," he said.
"Our long term vision for the area will protect St. James’s distinct niche in the West End office market, enhance its position as a stimulating and eclectic shopping and dining destination, create new homes, improve the public realm and above all, protect St. James’s celebrated heritage,” Smart added.
The plans are, Crown Estate said, designed to bring bring the area back in line with the quality of the historic St. James’s part of the city with world-class architecture, preserved facades and a public area improvement.
The scheme takes its name from the now lost area of St. James’s Market, which between the 17th and 19th centuries offered a market, shops and entertainment. The area was lost when John Nash redeveloped Regent Street.
As well as the office and restaurant and leisure space, there will be a 24,000sq.ft public area and a 10,000sq.ft pedestrian square with public art.
The proposals also include two associated development schemes to build new homes and are the next stage of The Crown Estate’s £500m investment programme for St. James’s. The Crown Estate currently owns a property portfolio comprising nearly 50 per cent of the buildings in the area and its investment programme is guided by The St. James’s Strategies, launched in 2011.
The Crown Estate will consult the local community on the proposals ahead of submitting a formal planning application to Westminster City Council this summer.