Covent Garden is blooming as shop rents hit record highs

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The 25% surge in valuations at Covent Garden follows key lettings to the likes of upmarket Italian cosmetics brand Kiko, whose prime James Street pitch is commanding rents of £1000 a square foot.

This is “commensurate with some of the best prices in the West End”, according to chief executive Ian Hawksworth.

Meanwhile, the overhaul of Henrietta Street has continued apace with the arrival British menswear brand Nigel Cabourn and Japanese denim store The Real McCoy’s.

Existing tenants Fred Perry and Oliver Sweeney have also moved to Henrietta Street from elsewhere on Capco’s estate.


Hawksworth said: “Covent Garden is absolutely firing on all cylinders at the moment. The scarcity of assets like Covent Garden mean they’re highly prized.”

Capco has ploughed £167 million into acquisitions at Covent Garden to expand its presence and has begun work on the redevelopment of Kings Court, its biggest to date in the area.

It now believes the Covent Garden estates will command £100 million in rents by 2017 and as high as £125 million by 2019.

The value of its overall estate, which includes a major overhaul of Earl’s Court, jumped 22% to £3 billion.

Fellow landlord Derwent London enjoyed similar success last year as it landed £9.2 million of new lettings amid “robust” demand from occupiers and said it saw “scant evidence” of any slowdown in the capital’s commercial property scene.

The valuation of Derwent’s estate swelled to almost £4.2 billion, driven by its investments in London’s Tech Belt where rising rents saw a 26% increase in property values.

Despite uncertainties such as the general election, chief executive John Burns said: “Overall we see scant evidence so far of a commercial property slowdown in London and we expect to see rental growth at least maintained at 6%-8% across the portfolio.”

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February 26, 2015 |
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