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LAND GRAB: The Crown Estate, the property company that belongs to the reigning British monarch and which owns vast swathes of London’s West End, including Regent Street and St. James’s, bulked up its portfolio this week with the purchase of a majority stake in the Pollen Estate, which includes Savile Row and Cork Street.
The Crown Estate has partnered with Norges Bank Investment Management to purchase 64.2 percent holding in the Pollen Estate for 381 million pounds, or $640 million at current exchange. They purchased the land from the Church Commissioners for England, an endowment charity that manages the historic property assets of the Church of England. Norges Bank is the central bank of Norway.
“We recognized the long-term investment opportunity of the Pollen Estate holdings, particularly in their core streets of Savile Row and Cork Street,” said David Shaw, head of the Crown Estate’s Regent Street portfolio.
“Savile Row and Cork Street have international reputations for their focus on tailoring and art galleries respectively, and the success of these two streets is crucial to the ongoing success of London’s West End as an international destination,” he added.
As reported, the Crown Estate is investing heavily into St. James’s, Piccadilly and Regent Street, focusing on high-end retail and restaurants. It is investing upwards of 500 million pounds, or $843 million, in St. James’s alone and has brought stores such as Barbour International, Tiger of Sweden, Cath Kidston, Sunspel and JM Weston into the neighborhood.