IN FOCUS: ST CHRISTOPHER’S PL ‘ IT WILL ALWAYS BE IN FASHION’
St Christopher’s Place is a mixed-use development in a very attractive part of London’s West End, close to Bond Street.
It is the biggest holding in our portfolio and we like it because it has a mixture of retail, residential, offices and restaurants, which means we are not exposed to just one sector.
There are 44 individual buildings in the estate and there is a nice ambience to the area, which has a piazza in the centre. There are very few opportunities in central London to invest in an estate like this.
Currently, there is a really good diversity in the occupants. It is a great asset because we can manage and engineer the tenant line-up and improve the mix over time, depending on market conditions.
Because we own the entire estate, we get the benefits of increased rents and higher capital values across the whole area.
This is always going to be a very attractive part of town. We manage this estate to generate income and then benefit from increased value of the properties.
This is a core asset for us and we strongly believe in it – it is the largest asset within the portfolio by far.
We want office buildings that are let to multiple companies, so you are not taking a risk on a single tenant.
Companies now want buildings that have a good ambience and facilities so they can attract and retain young talent.
We have seen the growth of co-working and serviced offices such as WeWork and, as traditional landlords, we have to provide the quality to compete. I have an investment in it, which I think is reasonable enough. I wanted to be an architect, but my drawing skills just weren’t up to scratch. But this job means I am still involved, just in a different way.