One of Britain’s biggest developers has purchased a large number of properties in Woolwich town centre for £103 million.
British Land are behind the purchase. The properties form “Woolwich Arsenal estate” and occupy many retail units in Powis and Hare Streets, shown in blue below, including Primark, New Look, Iceland and the corner building by Beresford Square including Greggs.Mansford purchased the sites from Powis Street estates for £52.5 million back in 2014, and have now sold them on.
Under Mansford’s ownership the focus was often on converting upper floors to residential usage.
I was intending to put this post up yesterday but a few things came up. What that has meant though is that I’ve had time to read various reports of this story.
Virtually all of them repeat and rehash the press release. There’s very little knowledge of the area shown, and amusingly many fall for the PR guff including describing Woolwich as a “shopping mecca”.
Ok then. Even its biggest fans wouldn’t say that right now, though it does have fantastic potential to return to its former glory.
For those worried about mass demolition I can’t see that being the case given conversion to residential, fragmented nature of sites and the small size of many units.
However, some units will probably be rebuilt and in some cases it wont be the worst thing in the world given poor quality buildings such as New Look.
Crossrail is cited as a big factor behind the purchase, as to be expected. British Land also claim to want independent retailers as well as big brands, which given the small size of many units makes sense.
They have given a timeline of five years for their planned transformation.
It’s part of the ever evolving nature of Woolwich.
Developers St Modwen last week submitted a planning application for 742 homes and shops at Spray Street and last year approval was given for a mixed-use development at the “Island Site”including 310 homes.