The Crown Estate and Oxford Properties Agree on St James’s Market JV

Every major public investor attracted to European core real estate wants a slice of London. The Crown Estate has been creating joint ventures to revitalize their central London properties. The Crown Estate has established a joint venture with Oxford Properties, the real estate subsidiary of the Ontario Municipal Employees’ Retirement System, to have Oxford Properties take a 50% stake in the £320 million commercial element of the landmark St James’s Market scheme.

Canadian public investors are keen on historic properties in London with high traffic.

Essentially, the deal will create a strategic partnership based on two 50:50 limited partnerships. Each will own 150-year leasehold interests in two blocks located between London’s Regent Street and Haymarket. The Crown Estate will retain the freehold interest and will take the lead to develop the asset. The 10-year strategy will include revitalization of St James’s Market. The Crown Estate is no stranger to large public investors. Earlier they established the Regent Street Partnership with Norway’s sovereign wealth fund.

In a press release, Paul Clark, Director of Investment and Asset Management of the Crown Estate said, “Partnering with an organisation of the calibre of Oxford Properties speaks volumes about the market’s confidence in our specialist approach to managing third party funds. St James’s Market will deliver the most ambitious redevelopment in St James’s in the last century and represents a major tipping point for our strategy for the area.”

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