Benson Elliot Secures Consent to Convert Ealing’s Arcadia Shopping Centre

Benson Elliot, a leading UK-based private equity real estate investor, has secured planning consent from Ealing Council to convert the Arcadia Shopping Centre from more than 25 small shops into three large stores fronting Ealing Broadway. After construction has finished, this landmark site will re-emerge as ‘1-8 The Broadway, W5’.

The plans were voted through unanimously by Ealing Council’s planning committee last week (12 June 2013).

The Arcadia shopping centre will be comprehensively transformed inside and out. Inside, three new stores – a large unit on each of the lower and upper ground floors, together with a new corner unit – will be carved out of the current mish-mash of small shops and kiosks. Outside, a new façade comprising double-height glazing, fine metalwork, and elements of Ealing’s classic vernacular brick, terracotta and render will combine in a crisp and contemporary design that is both ambitious and confident, whilst respectful of local architecture and the site’s prominent location.

Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot, said:

“Our vision breathes new life into this hugely important site, turning the old Arcadia Centre inside out to create three prime shop units fronting The Broadway. It’s particularly encouraging to see major high street brands sharing our vision and launching their best-in-class formats with us in time for Christmas trading next year. Ealing Council’s unanimous vote to approve the scheme and the support of local civic and community groups through our consultation process sets the tone for a very bright future for the north side of The Broadway and the town centre as a whole.

“This first phase creates a platform to develop the strategy for our wider Arcadia site and since purchasing the portfolio in December 2012 we have acquired additional adjacent properties to round out our ownership. We are looking forward to consulting with the Council and community on the wider framework and continuing to deliver high quality proposals in this vibrant London location.”

Richard Haynes, Development Executive at Morrisons, said:

“We’re delighted to be bringing our unique fresh food offer to Ealing Broadway. Ealing is an exciting growth area and our new full format store here marks another important step in our London expansion programme. We’re looking for opportunities to invest, create jobs and bring great quality food shopping to new areas across London and the South and we look forward to continuing our work with Benson Elliot to do this in Ealing.”

The design improvements include:

  • A focal point of the scheme will be the new corner entrance on The Broadway and Spring Bridge Road, featuring a striking double-height retail facade below a new landmark illuminated ‘lantern’, featuring a clock.
  • The Broadway façade will be brought back into line with the rest of the high street, with new double-height shop windows creating an open and inviting frontage.
  • The building’s tired Spring Bridge Road façade will have its existing shop fronts re-glazed and terracotta panelling added to the refurbished brickwork, creating a contemporary, high quality façade in this sensitive setting alongside the listed church.

Benson Elliot is working with Allies & Morrison, whose portfolio includes a number of landmark developments in London, including the widely acclaimed refurbishment of the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank and sensitive mixed-use town centre schemes including Hereford and Winchester.

Ahead of the decision last week, Benson Elliot consulted with Ealing Council, the Business Improvement District, local interest groups and the wider community.

This major reconfiguration marks the first step in a comprehensive regeneration of the Arcadia site’s town centre contribution. Benson Elliot acquired the 2.8 acre Arcadia portfolio, including the Arcadia shopping centre, in December 2012 for around £40 m. In March 2013, Benson Elliot acquired 12-14 The Broadway from Legal & General. This takes Benson’s Elliot’s total investment in Ealing town centre to circa £45 m. Later this year, the company will begin consulting on a strategy for the rest of the site they own.

The redevelopment of the Arcadia portfolio will contribute towards the regeneration of Ealing town centre, reinforcing it as one of London’s most prosperous and well-connected areas. The arrival of the £18 billion Crossrail project from 2018 will further improve the area’s accessibility, reducing commuting times to central London by up to 50%.

Tenant details: Morrisons will occupy a 47,000 gross sq ft ‘Fresh Market’ store at 1-8 The Broadway W5, and the two other retailers are TX Maxx and McDonald’s. TX Maxx will trade on the upper level still, but expand across the rest of the floor and will have a new Broadway entrance incorporating escalators and lifts, and will re-open their Spring Bridge Road entrance. McDonald’s will move across to the old HMV unit, accessed from the Broadway corner. The rest of the lower floor will be let to Morrisons.

McDonald’s and TK Maxx will be able to continue trading throughout the building works.

 

About the Arcadia Portfolio

The properties were assembled between 2006 and 2008 by Glenkerrin, an Irish developer. They planned to develop a c.1,000,000 sq ft mixed retail and residential scheme; while the Glenkerrin proposals for regeneration gained the backing of LB Ealing, at a subsequent Public Inquiry the proposed scale and height were considered not to be in keeping with the adjoining Conservation Areas. In 2011, Glenkerrin was declared insolvent, resulting in all company assets being transferred to the National Asset Management Agency (“NAMA”).

On 29 October 2012, Benson Elliot exchanged contracts with Malcolm Shierson and Martin Ellis of Grant Thornton acting as Joint Administrator of Glenkerrin (UK) Limited and Joint LPA receiver over the assets of The Broadway Partnership for the acquisition of the Arcadia Portfolio, the major part of a 2.8-acre island-block in Ealing town centre, West London. Benson Elliot completed the deal on 7 December 2012.

The redevelopment of the Arcadia portfolio will contribute towards the regeneration of Ealing town centre, reinforcing it as one of London’s most prosperous and well-connected areas. The arrival of the £18 billion Crossrail project from 2018 will further improve the area’s accessibility, reducing commuting times to central London by up to 50%.

Benson Elliot founder Marc Mogull has led the funding of urban regeneration projects across Europe during the past twenty years, and is the UK Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, the pre-eminent global land-use organisation. The Arcadia Site transaction represents the fifth investment for the €500 million Benson Elliot Real Estate Partners III fund.

 

Morrisons – different and better than ever

Morrisons is one of the UK’s biggest food retailers, with 490 stores, and we’re the only British supermarket to have our own food processing sites, abattoirs and even a farm. We employ expert livestock buyers to pick animals straight from the farmer and we are unique in making almost a quarter of the food we sell in store ourselves, giving us unrivalled control over our supply chain. We’re committed to supporting British farming, that’s why all Morrisons-branded fresh meat and everything on our butchers’ counters is 100% British. And we have more skilled specialists on hand to prepare more fresh food in store than any other retailer, with over 6,000 fully trained crafts people in our stores including butchers, bakers, fishmongers and cheesemongers. Every week, over 11 million customers pass through our doors and more than 131,000 colleagues across the business work hard each day to deliver great service to them. Our aim is to give our customers more of what matters to them, offering great quality food at low prices.

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