01 Aug High street redevelopment in Reading
Extract from Property Week (link to https://www.propertyweek.com/)
The Thackeray Estate is set to spend £60m converting high-street buildings in the centre of Reading into a new mixed-use district.
It has acquired 12 buildings on Queen Victoria Street for £30m and plans to spend an additional £30m redeveloping them into mixed-use spaces comprising retail, restaurants, offices, a hotel and apartments.
It is one of the first examples of a developer converting high-street retail properties into alternative uses against the backdrop of a tough retail climate.
The developer said it wanted to create a “retail and dining destination” to act as a gateway to the town centre from Reading rail station. It added that the buildings also had the potential to become a larger-scale scheme in future.
The scheme’s centrepiece will be two grade II-listed corner buildings and a pedestrianised thoroughfare linking the station to the town centre, which together comprise around 40,000 sq ft.
The ground floors of the corner buildings will be redeveloped into an indoor market and food hall and will also include pop-up and traditional retail space. The upper floors will be converted into grade-A offices.
“Our vision is to create a bustling village at the gateway of the town centre with an array of international eateries, retail outlets, modern offices and hotels,” said Charles Thompson, director at The Thackeray Estate.
“Importantly, these buildings will be restored with the care and quality that is synonymous with Thackeray’s ethos and brought back to their former glory.”
£100m expansion plan
The investment is part of The Thackeray Estate’s £100m expansion plan, launched in 2017, which is focused on acquiring mixed-use heritage buildings in London and the South East.
The estate recently redeveloped 25-39 Eastcheap in the City of London into a new £50m scheme called the Eastcheap Estate, which comprises grade-A offices and prime retail spaces in listed buildings.
The Thackeray Estate is owned by Antony Alberti and Brett Palos and its portfolio comprises 130 retail stores and restaurants, 200,000 sq ft of office space and 75 residential units.