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Meyer Bergman Fund Acquires Vinopolis Site for 300 Million Retail Development Adjacent to London's Borough Market

10/02/2015

A fund advised by pan-European retail property investment manager Meyer Bergman has acquired the Vinopolis two-acre sites next to the London foodie mecca of Borough Market with plans to develop 18,000 m2 of boutique stores in an investment totalling more than 300 million.

George Walsh-Waring, a Principal of Meyer Bergman, said: "This vibrant central London neighbourhood is undergoing rapid change and the retail offering is woefully inadequate given the needs of residents and the huge flow of tourists, commuters and office workers passing through every day. It is a signature investment for the fund and the proposed transformation will make a lasting and fitting contribution to the continued regeneration of this historic part of London when the scheme opens in 2018."

Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners II (MBERP II) has joined forces with niche central London developer Sherwood Street Ltd. in acquiring the leasehold to a two-acre site beneath Victorian railway arches that is currently occupied by Vinopolis -- the bar, dining, and events location, which is scheduled to close in the Spring of 2016. The two partners have also acquired the mixed-use building Thames House and other sites adjacent to the Vinopolis Centre for the redevelopment.

The partners have worked on initial proposals for the redevelopment in collaboration with the freehold owner of the site, Network Rail, and with the support of local planning authority Southwark Council. They aim to submit a planning application shortly.

The proposed retail development sits beside Borough Market, London's premier attractions for gourmet food lovers, on the south bank of the River Thames facing the City of London financial district. Nearby London Bridge mainline and underground stations are forecast to bring around 50 million people a year to the area by 2018 and the Bankside riverside footpath is a popular route for tourists visiting the Tate Modern gallery, the Globe Theatre and the landmark Shard skyscraper, while the campus of Guy's Hospital is also in the immediate vicinity.

The fund invests in destination retail locations in the centres of major European cities and in assets with a dominant position in their catchment areas. Its other investments include prime retail buildings on Bond Street, Piccadilly and Queensway in London; the Champs-Elysees in Paris; two Karstadt department stores in Berlin and the forward purchase of the Westfield Broadway shopping centre development in Bradford, northern England.

Tom Sherwood, Founder of Sherwood Street Ltd, said: "You aren't going to get a better location in central London that is lacking a quality retail offering for shoppers than this. We have and will continue to work closely with Southwark Council, Network Rail, Borough Market and other stakeholders to draw up a scheme that is entirely in keeping with the cobbled streets and artisan feel of the area, which we anticipate will be hugely appealing to new brands, designers, restaurant or bar concepts and boutique retailers."

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