1. November 2018

  2. First gin shop to open in London for 200 years

    15 November 2018
    The Crown Estate, advised by Colliers International Central London Restaurants team, has let a shop in the iconic Princes Arcade to Sipsmith Gin.
    The space will become home to The Sipsmith Gin Shop – the first dedicated gin shop to open in London for over 200 years. The boutique will offer a range of exclusive Sipsmith products, including the personalised Gin Stocking; unique experiences and events, such as Hot Gin masterclasses; and of course an in-house Gin Bar.

    Three other brands - Sir Plus, Anatome and Gizelle Renee – have also recently signed to the destination which connects Piccadilly and Jermyn Street via a covered arcade.

    Oliver Smith, Head of St James’s at The Crown Estate, said: “Together, these new brands represent the continued evolution of Princes Arcade and the St James’s area. Each of them signify craftsmanship, quality and style, and they combine this with a uniquely contemporary focus. It is particularly exciting when brands come to us as pop-ups and often become permanent residents in the arcade. This speaks to the quality of the destination and the positive impact made by its reinvigoration.”

    The brands have chosen Princes Arcade following its modernisation and refurbishment, with The Crown Estate investing in the Regency-era shopping arcade to transform it for contemporary brands and shoppers. Princes Arcade will continue to offer permanent pop-up space and test bed for new brands, enabling them to experiment with new formats and reach new audiences.

    Josh Leon, Head of Central London Restaurants, Colliers International, said: “London has a fascinating relationship with the traditional Gin Shop going back to the 18th Century. This version, reimagined for the modern day, comes at the perfect time in the run-up to Christmas. Sipsmith is a distinctive and formidable brand that has many shared values with the Crown Estate, and is exactly the kind of occupier we are looking to collaborate with in St James’s.”
  3. Scrubbing up well: a thoroughly modern makeover at Bath Place

    15 November 2018
    It’s not often that we enthuse about the virtues of post-modern 1980s business parks, but a quite remarkable transformation has been achieved at this newly refurbished and self-contained office at Bath Place in Shoreditch.
    On the outside the archetypal allusions to classic architecture are apparent with clear influences from the Georgian era and 1930s: tall arched sashes; a Juliet balcony with French doors; wide art-deco factory style windows; a stone colonnade. 

    But what sounds like an odd and somewhat random combination on paper has been embraced and utilised to remarkable effect, delivering not only a modern workspace, but also a surprising one. 

    It’s a straight-up 21st century reinterpretation that sits comfortably alongside the neighbourhood’s many new buildings and warehouse conversions, but exhibits a particular character that stands apart from the crowd.

    The office is arranged over 4 storeys, with 623ft2 on the ground floor and a roughly even split of around 950ft2 to each of the upper levels, giving a total floor area of 3454ft2. The general impression is that of a contemporary commercial take on a classic 19th century townhouse.

    Specification includes slender strips of led lighting, air conditioning and exposed services in galvanised conduit all suspended from the ceilings; waist height perimeter trunking and a combination of engineered oak and polished concrete floors.

    As well as exploiting a fairly short heritage and working with the original architecture, the refurbishment revealed a delightful discovery on the ground floor: a barrel vaulted concrete soffit to match anything at the Barbican or South Bank. 

    Set on bustling Rivington Street, Bath Place sits almost dead centre in what was the original Shoreditch Triangle before it expanded east to Shoreditch High Street. The area is alive with creative industries and chock full of some of the best cafes, bars and restaurants in London.

    Local transport includes the Overground at Shoreditch High Street, Underground and National Rail at Old Street and numerous buses passing along the nearby thoroughfares. Liverpool Street station is about half a mile away and will soon be joined by the new Elizabeth Line when first phase of Crossrail completes at the end of this year…but if you or your visitors still want to drive you get secure off-road, private parking for at least 2 cars right outside you own front door.

  4. October 2018

  5. It’s a wrap: Odeon Cinemas signs for new London HQ

    30 October 2018
    The Colliers Occupier Advisory team has just acted for Odeon Cinemas in securing its new London headquarters at One Stephen Street, just north of the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street.
    After acting for Odeon some 5 years ago in its move to its previous head office on Haymarket, Colliers was asked to help Odeon find a new location after its acquisition in 2016 by American cinema giant AMC.

    The brief was to find 11,000ft2 of high quality media-style space in the West End with a building and interior to reflect Odeon's status as Europe's largest cinema chain, with over 2,200 screens across the continent.

    One Stephen Street is a remarkable building from the Derwent London stable: a 265,000ft2 development of office space and double height retail units to a design by Orms architects. One of the most notable attributes of the development is a 150m ribbon of glass that runs around the Stephen Street and Gresse Street elevations, effectively opening up the entire ground floor to the street: a striking entry point to an inviting and grown up building.

    From their 8th floor offices, Odeon will enjoy terrific views across the Capital, with a glorious view of the British Museum in the foreground and stretching down to Big, Westminster and beyond – as though all of London is laid out before them.

    Down on the ground, the immediate vicinity is undergoing massive change as part of a £1billion transformation that includes the refurbishment and expansion of Tottenham Court Road station: later this year, the first part of the Crossrail project completes with the opening of the Elizabeth Line. 

    Other occupants at One Stephen Street include Fremantle Media, producers of The X Factor, who, as a pop fact, share their name with the Victorian warehouse buildings that occupied the Stephen Street site until their demolition in the 1970s.

    Odeon took a 10-year lease on their new office at a rent of £75 per ft2 with Colliers helping to negotiate a 20-month rent-free period.

  6. Stepping up the pace for LandAid

    29 October 2018
    Four members of the Colliers City Agency team have got together for LandAid’s Steptober challenge, joining over 500 property professionals and more than 100 teams in a fundraising initiative to end youth homelessness in the UK.
    The Colliers team is made up of Natalie Lelliott, Emily Hirsch, Megan Orr and Oliver Hawking. The team’s name, STEP RIGHT NOW, thank you very much, betrays a certain allegiance, or at least familiarity with, a fairly famous girl group from the 1990s. 

    The Steptober challenge is no walk in the park! All four of the team have been finding inventive ways to increase the number of steps they take in a day, then uploading the results from their Fitbit to the Steptober website. Currently the Colliers team is sitting at number 22, but the aim is definitely top 20.

    As well increased marching about in the work environment – from pacing around the office while on the phone, taking the stairs instead of lifts, doing star jumps wherever opportunity knocks and booking as many viewings as possible for maximum marching about – the STEP RIGHT NOW gang have been adding to the their step count by getting off buses early, running to work and going for group jogs along the river and back again. They even ran up the Gherkin (the hardest 1037 steps we’ve ever done!”)

    The team has a fundraising target of £500 but would happily smash it. If you would like to help them get there and support LandAid’s mission, please CLICK HERE


    Amazon: let's get physical

    23 October 2018
    Despite being synonymous with online retailing, the opening this week of an Amazon pop-up store on London’s Baker Street and the successful launch of its 4-star store in New York last month has accelerated the presence of the digital giant in the physical retail environment.
    The London shop will not be offering the type of items for which Amazon initially became famous; books, electricals and household items. Instead, it will focus on one of the biggest challenges for online retailers: fashion. Selling clothes online is a problematic process which entails high logistics costs and the curse of returns as shoppers order multiple items but send back most (at a cost to the retailer).

    The media tells us that the pop-up is ‘an immersive experience featuring on-site stylists and highlighting a different category of Amazon’s fashion department every other day’. Brands available will include Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Vans, Levi’s, Paul & Joe, LOVE Moschino, Aldo, Antik Batik and Filippa K plus Amazon Fashion’s Private Brands such as Truth & Fable and Meraki.

    All products can be bought in store, or virtually purchased using Amazon’s ‘SmileCode’ scanning technology via the Amazon App. There is still the option to have your purchases sent to your home, workplace or Amazon locker collection address, but the buying process is hugely streamlined by the customer having made a ‘real life’ purchase decision - which should almost eliminate the spectre of returns.

    Needless to say, from a property perspective it’s a good time to open pop-up or permanent stores across the UK with plenty of choice and attractive rents. There’s also clear demand for this type of offer. When Colliers canvassed 3,000 shoppers earlier this year and asked which online brand they’d like to see open on the High Street, Amazon ranked No.1 by a substantial margin.

    And, of course, Amazon testing the water in this way will resonate in the logistics property sector which continues to be a huge beneficiary from the distribution needs of the online giants. If this new approach to the customer interface takes off, the shed builders may find it a bit sobering that the next bunch of Amazon fulfilment centres might actually be a chain of shops.

    This could be the beginning of something big in the developing relationship between online and physical retailing: the creation of a network of outlets featuring a wide range of brands with changing seasonal offers and customers whose loyalty is to the seller first and the brands second. 

    If the Amazon pop-ups go well and they turn into permanent multi-product shops they may need to think of a name for them. Perhaps something like ‘department stores’ would fit the bill?

    Georgie Griffiths 
    Surveyor | Retail Capital Markets
    +44 20 7344 6611 

    Learn more about our Retail Capital Markets team at

  8. Feasting in Fitzrovia

    4 October 2018
    The restaurant scene in London’s Fitzrovia once consisted of a few trailblazers like Hakkasan, the Charlotte Street Hotel and Caprice's Bam Bou. Otherwise the landscape was dominated by a line-up of Greek and Italian independents that seemed like they’d been there forever.
    In the early Noughties, the area started to benefit from operators seeking refuge from rising rents in Soho and saw new openings for the likes of Roka, Saltyard, and Crazy Bear. The opening of The Riding House Cafe in 2011 brought a new sense of fashion and style to the district, and since then well known chefs such as Ollie Dabbous, Jason Atherton, Jun Tanaka, Monica Galetti and James Knappett have all opened in Fitzrovia.  

    Brands such as Home Slice, Honest Burger, Bao, Iberica, Wahaca, and Vagabond Wines all thrive while the new gastronomic trailblazers are the likes of Will Lander and Daniel Morgenthau with their ground breaking Portland and Clipstone. 

    Most recently, Caravan has recently established its fifth outlet: a beautiful restaurant in the former Radio 1 recording studio while Ross Shonohan has just opened his second Flesh and Buns at 32 Berners Street (with pisco sours at the push of a button). On Newman Street, Rami Fustok’s Mandrake Hotel bar has been a favourite haunt of the A -list and fashion crowds since opening a year ago.  

    We’ve advised Spanish superstar chef Quique Dacosta on a new lease of an immense new site on Eastcastle Street which will open later this year and will specialise in the most authentic paella outside Valencia in what promises to be a truly dramatic setting. 

    Meanwhile, the market is expecting an announcement about a new restaurant at Rathbone Square which should please the masses in the Facebook HQ upstairs!    

    In terms of new opportunities, 87-125 Cleveland Street has planning consent to include new restaurants and bars and there are a scattering of other new builds and planning consents in the area featuring potential new restaurants.

    We’ve just started marketing a phenomenal space on Rathbone Street, behind the Charlotte Street Hotel, which offers 5,000 sq ft of new A3 restaurant space all on the ground floor in a beautiful old building that has been very sensitively converted. The fact that we’re already getting enquiries from as far away as Hong Kong and Mexico (as well as Mayfair and Shoreditch) shows just how firmly Fitzrovia is established on London’s culinary map.

    Josh Leon
    Head of Central London Restaurants
    +44 (0)7951023263

  9. September 2018

  10. Bohemian remedy: drug research firm takes entire Fitzrovia office building

    19 September 2018
    We have just completed the letting of a newly refurbished Fitzrovia office building of 20,417ft2 in London’s ‘Knowledge Quarter’ to Benevolent AI, a British company and science innovator with international offices in New York and Antwerp.
    Developed by our client NFU Mutual to a design by the Shoreditch architects Buckley Gray Yeoman, Maple & Midford is a unique building on Maple Street in the north east of Fitzrovia. It’s a place of well-heeled bohemia that’s home to well-known occupiers including Facebook, BBC and Estee Lauder who are drawn to the West End location, excellent connectivity and thriving street scene.

    The marketing campaign for Maple & Midford drew interest from the medical, financial, tech and media sectors before the building was let in its entirety to Benevolent AI, a major disruptor in the pharma industry. 

    First showing interest during the early stages of their search - and while refurbishment works were still underway - it was after the official launch of Maple & Midford and when works were complete that Benevolent AI returned to the building as the chosen location for its new London home.

    In its sleek modernity Maple & Midford delivers on all fronts with long blades of suspended LED lighting, vast floor-to-ceiling picture windows, factory-style glass partitions, exposed air conditioning in galvanised steel, and open-tread timber staircases housed in black metal uprights. A generous and newly created terrace on the 3rd floor completes the picture.

    Although there are many standout and beautifully realised design features, it is perhaps the element of surprise that gives Maple & Midford the upper hand. Admiring the contemporary cubist tendencies of the building’s exterior, that last thing you might imagine inside would be the presence of brick vaulted ceilings, chunky iron columns and riveted steel girders. It’s an unexpected heritage that gives Benevolent AI a remarkable headquarters blending industrial Victoriana with polished futurism.

  11. Right in every detail: creative workspace perfection at Chapter & Verse

    18 September 2018
    Within 100 metres of Old Street Roundabout, a magnificent converted school and a newly-constructed building are set to deliver a state-of-the-art office development at the vanguard of 21st century design. The two buildings will offer a total of 50,000ft2 of exceptional cutting-edge workspace to satisfy staunch minimalists, loft fanatics and architecture purists alike.
    The former school (Chapter House) is an outstanding example of Queen Anne style from 1886 and was designed by Thomas Jerram Bailey. Alongside its archetypal red and sandy brickwork and giant windows, the building features the unexpected detail of a wide, three-storey circular bay. The refurbishment celebrates this wonderful heritage while a new penthouse level of floor-to-ceiling glass is something of a crowning glory and provides magnificent views of the city skyline.

    Verse Building sees the demolition of the current 1980s office building, replacing it with a taller and elegant new building in contemporary grey brick. In a striking exercise of sleek symmetry, the eight-storey front and rear elevations group the full height windows of the office floors into pairs and set them into double height apertures.

    Chapter House will be ready for occupation in Q4 2018, with Verse Building completing in Q3 2019. 

    Chapter & Verse is a development by LBS Properties who bought the buildings through Colliers towards the end of 2017. The company focusses on the residential and commercial sectors of the central London property market, tackling ambitious large-scale projects with expertise in acquisitions, planning, construction and sales. Among successfully completed LBS projects are landmark schemes in SW1 like Eight Artillery Row and Trafalgar One, with current developments including The Madison, a 53-storey tower in Canary Wharf, and HKR Hoxton, to the north of Shoreditch. 

    To ensure that Chapter & Verse hit the right note in every regard, the design team of LBS Properties, their two appointed architects – Thirdway Architecture on Chapter House and Buckley Grey Yeoman on Verse Building – and Colliers International worked together to realise a breath-taking and inspirational development that meets and exceeds the requirements of modern city occupiers.

    As the City Fringe has flourished and matured, so the aspirations of high performing start-ups and innovators have increased. Today’s enterprises are uncompromising in their demand for excellence in specification and design, seeking beautiful finishes, natural light, voluminous spaces, high ceilings and outside areas.

    All these elements have been delivered at Chapter & Verse with ceiling heights from 2.9 to 4.5 meters, multiple terraces, exquisite materials and large expanses of glass. Floor areas cater to a range of occupiers from 1,660 – 7,449ft2 with amenities including 134 cycle spaces & lockers, 15 showers and beautiful reception lobbies to each building.

    The location is no less irresistible. At the heart of London’s creative hub, Chapter & Verse is just moments from Old Street Roundabout – soon to become an open public piazza – and a short walk to Shoreditch with perhaps the most exciting, creative and varied collection of cafes, bars, restaurants shops, and galleries in town.

  12. Beyond fashion: the bold transformation of Alexander McQueen’s former HQ

    17 September 2018
    Originally the site of David Duffield & Co, a linen-drapers dating back to the 1800s, 76-78 Clerkenwell Road gained a more recent renown as home to the revolutionary fashion house of Alexander McQueen. The firm occupied the building for 10 years from 2008-2018 before moving its London headquarters to nearby Aylesbury Street.
    Now re-christened Drapers House, this classic Victorian factory building has been subjected to a refashioning no less arresting than the designs of its radical couture occupant. In a development by Rockspring Property Investment Managers, an arm of PATRIZIA Immobilien AG, the building has been transformed into a series of futuristic workspaces where dynamic floor plates and creative mezzanines are augmented with hi-tech new materials and exposed original fabric. It’s a visionary reimagining that will deliver almost 13,000ft2 of extraordinary office space in a prime Clerkenwell location.

    Already reserved is the self-contained ground/lower ground floor 4,000ft2 duplex.  That leaves the first through to fourth floors with access through the beautiful new entrance lobby with custom-designed visitors seating upholstered in opulent jade velvet.

    The first and second floor units each occupy a floor of the original building and have large replacement windows in the original factory style. Each measures about 2,200ft2.

    The third & fourth floor unit provides a total of 4,400ft2 and combines the building’s original top floor with a newly added double-height storey.  This remarkable space includes a sleek mezzanine, two private private terrace and, the building’s piece de resistance, a barrel vaulted glass roof. It’s an inspired piece of architectural ingenuity that offers an outlook across the Clerkenwell rooftops normally reserved for birds and adventurous cats.

    Among the materials, finishes and specification are: black steel mesh; exposed warehouse fabric; superb natural daylight; new VRF air-conditioning systems; LED strip lighting; fully accessible inlaid timber raised floors; shower facilities and cycle storage. 

    Just one building from the junction of St John’s Street and Clerkenwell Road, one of the most recognisable corners in the City Fringe, Drapers House sits at the heart of London’s creative hub. Surrounded by British and international innovators in the worlds of fashion, design, tech and media, it’s an exciting and inspirational location that invites the very best in creative talent; people want to work here.

    With an unbeatable cache of places to eat, drink and socialise at any time of day, the area delivers an unbeatable offering for workplace enjoyment and with transport connections that are no less excellent. Farringdon station is just a few minutes away and, in 2019, will have its Underground and Thameslink services hugely upgraded with the arrival of Crossrail, with direct trains to the West End, Heathrow, Canary Wharf and beyond.

  13. Staying up late and (not) drinking

    6 September 2018
    It’s just over two years since we saw the introduction of all-night underground services on selected tube lines in London. The move was widely heralded as being a major shot in the arm for the capital’s late night economy.
    So it’s interesting to look at how things have changed for Londoners looking for a drink, meal or fun after midnight. The bottom line is that it’s not making money for Transport for London despite passenger numbers having increased from 7.8m in 2016-17 to 8.7m in 2017-18. However, it’s what happens overground that was always the impetus for the initiative and the effect of the night tube is still on track to add £1.54bn to London's economy during the next 10 years. 

    However, if you wander around the central London after midnight there isn’t much evidence of a late night revolution. Exactly why operators have been relatively slow in exploring the potential of later trading is not immediately apparent – although the process of getting a late night licence is not easy. Certainly if you find yourself in jam-packed places like Bar Soho or Primo, it does seem that there’s money to be made trading into the early hours.

    Maybe some of the reticence is because it seems that Londoners are beginning to drink in a different way. The search for an after-hours watering hole was invariably driven by the need for another – alcoholic – drink. However, Londoners are apparently less in love with the hard stuff while Government stats show that people under 25 are more likely to be tee-total than older generations.

    A new pop-up bar called The Ministry of International Specialist Concoctions will open in Hackney at the beginning of October. It’s the brainchild of Shinyoung Lyu and a look at her drinks list shows how far ‘mocktails’ have come. The menu combines ingredients like wolfberry, beetroot, and coffee, or Kombucha with Shikhye — a sweet rice drink found in Lyu’s native Korea.

    Even in more traditional bars, there’s more of a trend for long cocktails with a relatively small alcohol content instead of wine or shots.

    It’s certainly a far cry from the ‘drinkers’ charter’ that some people feared that the night tube would become – and it also opens up a whole new range of possibilities about what you should be offering if you’re business is staying up late in London. 

    Ross Kirton
    +44 20 7487 1615
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