GPE gets nod for Rathbone Place development in UK
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GPE gets nod for Rathbone Place development in UK

17 Oct 2013

Great Portland Estates (GPE) has secured resolution to grant planning permission from the City of Westminster (WCC) for its proposed development at Rathbone Place, W1.

Great Portland Estates (GPE) has received resolution to grant planning permission from the City of Westminster (WCC) for its proposed development at Rathbone Place, W1.

GPE said WCC described its plans in their planning committee report as ‘a distinctive, characterful proposal, of high architectural and urban design quality’.

Designed by architectural firm Make, the proposals for the 2.3-acre former post office site include new buildings totaling 414,000ft².

The site will feature a new public square and new pedestrian routes connecting Rathbone Place, W1 and Newman Street W1, together with 42,000ft² of retail space, 217,000ft² of offices and 155,000ft² of residential space in 162 units.

GPE acquired the site in November 2011 and leased it back to Royal Mail, which left in August 2013.

Work on Rathbone Place is expected to start in 2014 and complete in 2016.

GPE said the development will be a major contributor to the regeneration of the East End of Oxford Street, ahead of Crossrail opening in 2018.

GPE portfolio director Neil Thompson said Rathbone Place is one of several projects the company is working on for delivery over the next few years.

"We are delighted to have received support for our scheme from Westminster, with whom we have worked very closely over the last two years," Thompson said.

UK Business Property reported that Oxford House, which adjoins the Rathbone Place site, has recently been acquired by GPE from Land Securities as it faces the entrance to the western ticket hall of the new tube and Crossrail station.

Land Securities, prior to the sale, submitted plans for the existing building to be extended and refurbished into 89 residential apartments above a retail offering of 31,744ft² over the basement, ground and first floors.

Under the scheme, a significant part of the existing internal structure will be retained and the facility will be transformed with a new façade and double-height retail frontage.