Ealing development gets green light

September 2013

The major transformation of Ealing’s former Arcadia Centre has won the go-ahead from planners. The development will see the shopping centre converted from more than 25 small units into three large stores fronting Ealing Broadway.

GCW acted for the owners Benson Elliot on all the deals including securing pre-lets with Morrisons, TK Maxx and McDonald’s for the new stores. It also negotiated with the existing tenants in the centre to gain vacant possession by September.

Morrisons is a new retailer to Ealing and will occupy a 47,000 sq ft Fresh Market store on the lower ground floor. TX Maxx will continue to trade from the upper level but expand across the rest of the floor and will have a new Broadway entrance incorporating escalators and lifts to serve the 40,000 sq ft unit. It will also re-open its Spring Bridge Road entrance. McDonald’s moves across to the old HMV unit, accessed from the Broadway corner. Both McDonald’s and TK Maxx will be able to continue trading throughout the building works.

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 landmark illuminated lantern and 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 frontage.

GCW was initially appointed by the administrator Grant Thornton to work on the Arcadia Centre alongside London & Associated Properties (LAP). Their brief as letting agents and asset managers was to add value so that the site could be sold. The sale to Benson Elliot, represented by Strutt & Parker, was concluded late last year.

“We are delighted to be part of such an imaginative outcome for Ealing Broadway and a positive  repositioning of the former Arcadia Centre. The deals see major retailers investing in the town centre and many of the existing tenants relocating elsewhere in Ealing” says GCW director David Gooch.

“Our vision breathes new life into this hugely important site. 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” says Peter Cornforth, director of retail at Benson Elliot.

The reconfiguration of the shopping centre marks the first step in the regeneration of the north side of the Broadway. Benson Elliot has added a prime three-unit Broadway block to its original 2.8 acre Arcadia portfolio, taking its total investment in Ealing town centre to around £45 million. Later this year, it will begin consulting on a strategy for the eastern side of the site, which runs round to Ealing Broadway station, destined to be a major Crossrail hub by 2017.

· Other deals for GCW in Ealing see retail client JD Sports moving from the Arcadia Centre to the Broadway Centre to a 4,000 sq ft unit.  GCW also agreed terms, on behalf of Benson Elliot, for fast-expanding coffee shop Harris and Hoole to move to Ealing’s Broadway. The retailer takes a 1,600 sq ft unit for £65,000 pa on a 10 year lease.