Green light for redevelopment of Fenwick store in London

Westminster City Council has voted unanimously to approve the redevelopment plans of the former Fenwick department store on London’s New Bond Street, which closed for good in February this year and will now become a mixed-use retail and office asset.

What the new Foster + Partners-designed mixed-use project on the corner of New Bond Street will look like

The Fenwick family had sold the store, which had been open since 1882, to Lazari Investments, a Cypriot property firm, for £430 million in January 2023.

The period building will be partially demolished, but most of the historic façade will be preserved. The asset will be reconfigured with five other buildings at the intersection of New Bond Street and Brook Street. It will become a mixed-use asset, with retail space on the lower two levels and offices from the second to the ninth floor, and a roof garden.

“Our decision to acquire the Fenwick site was heavily influenced by our love of the architecture and its Mayfair surroundings, together with our belief of the enduring attraction of retail on Bond Street,” said Len Lazari, director, Lazari Investments.

The development will massively increase the amount of office space from 24,617 sq ft to 175,043 sq ft (16,262 sq m) and more than halve the amount of retail space from 132,310 sq ft to 50,504 sq ft (4,692 sq m) on the ground and first floors.

“The proposal will provide an appropriate combination of modern retail and office accommodation that accords with the relevant London Plan and City Plan policies, and is therefore considered to be acceptable,” Westminster City Council said. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has two weeks to give final approval to the plan.

The gradual expansion of the store over a century had created 37 different levels, so the renovation project requires extensive work. The scheme, designed by Foster + Partners, will “lift a number of facades through innovative engineering to align the floorplates above, creating four spectacular two-storey retail units that will benefit from increased floor heights”.

The offices, which will have an entrance in Brook Street, “will enjoy state-of-the-art amenities, together with internal and external landscaped terraces and winter gardens, substantially increasing wellness and well-being.”

The Fenwick department store in Newcastle, which is being redeveloped with the proceeds from the sale of the London store

The scheme is targeting “Outstanding” BREEAM rating and will retain 50% of the existing structure and 75% of the historic facades, Foster + Partners said. It is set to be completed by the end of 2026.

“Our design is about revitalising the historic Fenwick building and giving it a new lease of life,” said Norman Foster, founder and executive chairman, Foster + Partners. “This ambitious project will act as a catalyst, injecting energy into this part of the city and underscoring the area’s global presence.”

There is a silver lining for Fenwick: the retailer is using the proceeds from the sale of the London store to fund a £40 million redevelopment of its Newcastle flagship, which has just been given the green light. It will include an updated store frontage to the 1880’s building and a modern new canopy and grand central entrance on Northumberland Street.