Work starts soon on O2 shops mall

£185m ad­di­tion to lure vis­i­tors

The Wharf - - Front Page - Laura En­field

Work is due to start soon on a £185mil­lion de­signer out­let vil­lage at The O2.

The joint ven­ture be­tween the venue’s own­ers An­schutz En­ter­tain­ment Group (AEG) and Crosstree Real Es­tate Part­ners will “com­plete the cir­cle” in­side the tent with about 100 shops and restau­rants planned.

Bosses are in the process of sign­ing up a con­trac­tor and will launch their mar­ket­ing cam­paign to at­tract brands into the space within the next few weeks.

They are aim­ing to open the re­tail cen­tre, which will be sim­i­lar to Wem­b­ley’s Lon­don De­signer Out­let and Bices­ter Vil­lage in Ox­ford­shire, in 2017 with the hope of at­tract­ing shop­pers there dur­ing the day.

A spokes­woman for The O2 said: “We are due to start work on site in May and will be launch­ing our mar­ket­ing cam­paign to re­tail­ers in May as well.

“The num­ber of shops or brands is yet to be de­ter­mined but po­ten­tially could be over 100 shops. There could be restau­rants as well.”

She said the size of the de­vel­op­ment, ex­pected to be around 204,000sq ft, was still to be con­firmed but it would be self-con­tained and not af­fect the ex­ist­ing 370,000sq ft of leisure and re­tail out­lets within the dome.

Half of it will oc­cupy an un­used space on the up­per level of The O2, orig­i­nally built to house a casino, and the other half in a new build, dou­ble height space be­yond the ex­ist­ing restau­rants.

She added: “It will com­plete the cir­cle around the arena.”

AEG was granted plan­ning per­mis­sion for the re­tail out­let vil­lage in 2013 from Green­wich Coun­cil. It had ne­go­ti­ated with Land Se­cu­ri­ties over part­ner­ing on the project but the deal fell through.

May­fair-based real es­tate part­ner Crosstree bought a 50% stake in The O2 in Septem­ber 2015.

Lloyds Bank Com­mer­cial Bank­ing has now com­pleted the syn­di­ca­tion of the £185mil­lion debt fa­cil­ity to fund the de­signer out­let.

Half of the debt has been syn­di­cated to In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank Of China’s Lon­don branch. The re­main­ing 50% has been re­tained by Lloyds Bank.

In a state­ment it said: “The project, which is due to be com­pleted in 2017, will be the most sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment at The O2 since the for­mer Millennium Dome was con­verted into the world’s most suc­cess­ful con­cert venue – in terms of vis­i­tor num­bers –º in 2007.

Bank Of China spokesman An­drew Day said: “The O2 is an icon of Lon­don and has grown to be­come one of the world’s lead­ing venues.

“We are de­lighted to help fi­nance the de­signer re­tail out­let at The O2 and this deal again demon­strates our con­tin­ued com­mit­ment to the UK real es­tate mar­ket.”

The O2

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