How Victoria Street evolved from retail thoroughfare to London’s buzziest social hub

Charlotte Roberts

Victoria Street has experienced a metamorphosis in recent years. Take a wander down there today and you’ll discover a bustling hub of restaurants and bars, packed in among some of the capitals most in-demand ‘competitive socialising’ venues.  Recent crowd -drawing openings include Lane 7 and The Alchemist, joining the likes of Stix and Sushi, Timmy Green and Casa da Frango.Victoria Street’s position as one of the capital’s major social hubs will be cemented with this week’s first UK opening of the luxurious Parisian entertainment group BAM Karaoke Box. Housed in an incredible 10,000 square foot site with 22 private karaoke rooms, food from renowned chef Sabrina Gilda (ex Dorchester) and the uber-cool Bam Bam Bar, BAM is set to raise the bar not just for entertainment, but the whole hospitality and leisure scene in Victoria.

So how has Victoria Street transformed into a target for the world’s most innovative hospitality and leisure operators in the space of a few years?

The first major driver of change has come from an evolving office space landscape. According to the latest London Markets report, serviced offices account for 169,340 square foot in Victoria. But the occupancy of these offices has developed – once almost exclusively the home of civil servants, the area now hosts professional service companies and brands ranging from Bloomberg to Burberry. These businesses and their well paid staff represent a lot of valuable footfall – a fact not missed by hospitality and leisure brands.

Another key development for Victoria over the past 5 years has been transport. The £700 million Victoria Station Upgrade has improved links and ease navigating the area, with 45 million taps annually (April 2022-Mar 2023). With three tube lines, lots of bus routes and a revamped busy national station hosting the Gatwick Express, SW1 can now legitimately claim to be one of the best connected areas of London.

The shift in shopping patterns seen across London has also played a key role in the area’s changing dynamic. The demise of House of Fraser and closure of major fashion retailers in Victoria such as Hugo Boss are representative of the changing landscape for London’s retail picture – and highlight the potential opportunity for F&B and leisure.

We have managed Victoria Street for our client Landsec over the past decade. The launch of Nova  – the mixed use, three building development occupying the island site opposite Victoria station – in 2017 kick started the area’s F&B transformation, with The Rail House Café, Sticks n Sushi and Greenwood among the first lettings to draw the crowds.  A further vote of confidence came in the shape of The Ivy, which took over the former Jamie’s Italian site further down Victoria Street. High confidence in the wider area is also evident from Grosvenor’s reimagining of Belgravia and Buckingham Palace Road, and more recent investment from GAW Capital. But from a leisure perspective, it was the arrival and subsequent huge success of Flight Club in 2019 that provided the major endorsement to leisure brands looking for a central London location.

So where has this evolution left SW1?  Today, Victoria Street and the entire Nova development is fully let to a variety of premium leisure and hospitality operators. Lane 7 have opened with great success in the site adjacent to BAM, creating a footfall-driving entertainment hub. This – along with upcoming hospitality opportunities from the Portland House and Nova 2 redevelopment – make it clear that Victoria has a secure future as one of London’s top leisure and F&B destinations.

Charlotte Roberts is Head of London Retail at Bruce Gillingham Pollard.

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Tracey Pollard

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COMING SOON

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Tap and Tandoor will be arriving at Westquay, Southampton this month!

It will be Westquay’s first Indian offering and specialises in craft beer, cocktails and home-style curries.  You’ll be able to enjoy a casual dining experience with a wide range of quality beers in a relaxed, family friendly environment. The brand operates in Solihull and Peterborough, with Westquay due to be its third site.

With Boom Battle Bar, All Bar One and Las Iguanas all recently open in the scheme, we believe Tap and Tandoor will complement these brands. All adding to our strategy of creating a more wet led pitch at Westquay, Southampton.

Great work Harry Cody-Owen and Victoria Broadhead who acted on behalf of our client Hammerson, to secure this letting!

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F1 Arcade Confirms Birmingham for its Second Venue

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F1 Arcade, the first Formula 1 licensed premium experiential venue of its kind, is to occupy an 11,000 sq ft unit at Paradise Birmingham, the £1.2bn business, leisure, and residential development in Birmingham. The move marks only the second UK venue for the brand after its first venue in London was announced earlier this year and opens later this month.

The unique attraction offers offer an immersive, cutting-edge F1 racing simulation experience for individuals and groups, with appeal for both corporate and social occasions across a wide-ranging demographic, including families. It features bespoke racing simulators designed especially for the venue, featuring motion and audio-visual effects to immerse guests in the race. The experience takes inspiration from the exhilarating world of Formula 1, with sleek venue design paired with best-in-class food and drink offerings.

The concept was created by Adam Breeden, the pioneer of competitive socialising with proven and consistent worldwide success in fuelling the rise in the competitive socialising trend, with notable venues including Flight Club, Bounce, Hijingo, All Star Lanes and Puttshack.

F1 Arcade will be in good company and will join existing leisure operators at Paradise, including Vinoteca, Dishoom, Albert’s Schloss and Rosa’s Thai. Paradise is also home to occupiers such as PwC, DLA Piper, Knights, Mazars, Atkins, Cazenove Capital and Cubo across its first two office buildings, One and Two Chamberlain Square.

The Paradise scheme is being brought forward through Paradise Circus Limited Partnership, a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council. The private sector funding is being managed by Federated Hermes, which has partnered with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board on the first phase of the development and for One Centenary Way, the 280,000 sq ft first part of Phase Two. MEPC is the development and asset manager.

MEPC Senior Development Manager, Ross Fittall, commented: “F1 Arcade will be a major new attraction for the city and one that will appeal to all ages and backgrounds. This truly ground-breaking new leisure concept is coming to Birmingham in only its second venue in the UK. With cutting edge gameplay, high quality food and drink and an inviting, innovative space, it will be an exciting venue with something for everyone”.

BGP advised the development partnership on the letting to F1 Arcade.

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Victoria Broadhead

Vinoteca has taken a 3,390 sq ft unit in MEPC’s Paradise mixed-use development in Birmingham. The restaurant at Two Chamberlain Square is Vinoteca’s seventh outlet. Vinoteca co-founder Charlie Young said: “Birmingham has always been quick to embrace new food and drink concepts, and we felt this was the perfect setting for our first regional site. The huge success of the Commonwealth Games has just added to the city’s buzz and has brought a new awareness of Birmingham and all it has to offer.” The Paradise scheme is a major transformation of the heart of Birmingham, and comprises a mixed-use commercial development with up to ten new buildings including offices, a hotel, restaurants, bars and cafes as well as a 49-storey residential tower. The scheme is being progressed through a private-public joint venture with Birmingham City Council and funding managed by Federated Hermes. MEPC is the development manager. Bruce Gillingham Pollard (BGP) advised Federated Hermes and MEPC in the letting to Vinoteca. BGP director, Victoria Broadhead, added: “We have worked with a number of F&B concepts who have looked to expand regionally after establishing themselves in London. Vinoteca is an excellent brand which prides itself on working closely with producers to curate one of the UK’s most extensive wine lists. It has redefined the wine bar concept by offering a relaxed and laid-back experience that can be enjoyed by all. It is a letting which substantially enhances the eating and drinking options at the Paradise development.”

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We are delighted to be part of Grosvenor Net Zero Mentoring Programme alongside green consultancy The Heart of The City. This will enable our business to calculate baseline, set an action plan and achieve our agreed science based targets.

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We are delighted to have worked with The Crown Estate to bring The Green Planet to 55 Regent Street.

Rupert Bentley-Smith

A partnership between BBC Studios, Factory 42, Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and EE, they will use 5G to create The Green Planet Augmented Reality experience within this flagship building, funded by the Government’s 5G competition and presented by Sir David Attenborough. It will be a totally unique space using ground-breaking technology allowing visitors to travel through 5 digital worlds; Rainforest, Freshwater, Saltwater, Desert and Seasonal using their phone with the aim to use this immersive experience to inspire people of all ages to affect positive change.

After the first meeting with Michael Gunton Executive Producer for The Green Planet, it was obvious that this project would align perfectly with The Crown Estate’s focus on sustainability and their ambition to continue to bring world class experiences to their estate.

For further information, please contact Rupert Bentley-Smith

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The next generation of family clubs Jaego’s House will open in Kensal Rise in May 2022, quite literally something for all the family under one roof.

Members will have access to a whole range of services: a jungle gym and soft play; crèche and childminding; Co working office; studio and fitness classes; library; gym; restaurant and waterside cafe; treatment rooms; kids cinema.

We have worked with founder Charlie Gardiner for a number of years and are delighted to have secured the first of his new venture on his behalf. Please speak to Jamie Orme for future enquires.

 

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22 Bishopsgate is newest addition to the London Skyline and an incredibly memorable project to be working on. 2021 has seen the opening of this ‘vertical village’ where the office occupants will have access to everything under one roof. From grab & go food to a restaurant, gym to a wellness…

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