Finefair keeps a close eye on plans for different parts of London because they can affect our clients and their assets. This helps us to maintain our place as the best team for guaranteed rent City of Westminster and other Boroughs have to offer.
Oxford Street is one of the most popular shopping streets in the whole of the UK, welcoming over 100 million people per year. It is a tourist hotspot due to the wide array of shops on offer. Unfortunately like every other high street it has challenges to face. Traditional retail is experiencing big upheavals as a result of online services, high rents and lots of competition. Therefore change is necessary to avoid or overcome issues.
There was a plan at the end of 2017 to make the road pedestrian only. The aim was to create a new boulevard that would improve safety, shopper behaviour and footfall. The move would also have helped to reduce air pollution in the area.
A public consultation was very positive and locals were in support of the change. Sadly in June 2018 Westminster City Council scrapped them. Instead they made a decision to work on new plans.
Delays to Crossrail
Another problem in the area is a delay with new transport links. The new Elizabeth Line was scheduled to be in operation by December 2018, serving two local Tube Stations. Unfortunately the work is behind schedule and will take an additional nine months, delaying it until autumn 2019.
The local council is working on two new proposals; the Place Based Strategy and an Oxford Street safety scheme. The first is looking at how to preserve the heritage of the area whilst also providing the improvements to the retail experience the area needs. The second will look at how to make the area safer, particularly with the anticipated rise in pedestrian numbers when the Elizabeth Line is open.
It will be interesting to see the full details of the plans when the Council reveals them. Local business still back pedestrianisation and would also like to see things like a reduction in business rates and more diversity.
Finefair understands that shopping is one of the best reasons to live in the area. Improvements in Oxford Street could have a knock on impact on housing, making even more people want to live nearby. Investors who want to take advantage of this potential can call on us for help. As the best for guaranteed rent City of Westminster has to offer, we can offer assurances on income.
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