The Thackeray Estate (the “Company”), a leading property development and asset management business with a track record of placemaking and regenerating sites – often rich in heritage -into high quality mixed use spaces, is pleased to announce it has invested an initial £30 million in the acquisition of 12 buildings, two of which are Grade II listed, strategically located in Reading on both sides of the iconic Queen Street, the gateway into the heart of Reading. A further £30m will be invested in the redevelopment, breathing life into these historic buildings. The Company is seeking planning permission redevelop and refurbish the buildings into mixed use spaces including retail, and affordable modern office suites, three of which have already been completed on 145 Friar Street, as well as a hotel and residential apartments.
The development establishes a unique retail and dining destination which will be the home to desirable outlets and chains, creating an enjoyable experience and working environment for locals and office workers alike. The investment is part of The Thackeray Estate’s £100 million expansion plan and has the potential to become large-scale scheme.
Rich in history, arts, education and an important business centre, Reading is going through an exciting time of rapid development to meet strong demand for high quality retail, office spaces and housing. The town is home to one of the country’s leading universities and the headquarters of several major British companies and the UK offices of multinationals. Reading has a thriving and vibrant cultural scene and hosts the world’s oldest popular music festival, The Reading Festival.
With the construction of Crossrail, which will link this vibrant town to London and Heathrow Airport in 2019, Reading is poised to gain further significant economic importance and affluence.
- The two Grade II listed corner buildings at the entrance to Queen Victoria Street, and a pedestrianised thoroughfare which links Reading railway station to the heart of the town centre make up about 40,000 sq.ft. (the “Corner Buildings”). Thackeray’s aim is to create a bustling village at the gateway of Reading, heralding the town’s economic prosperity and heritage.
- The Thackeray Estate has recently delivered three high end modern office suites on Friar Street
- The Corner Buildings will be restored with quality and care that is synonymous with Thackeray’s ethos and significant improvements and renewal will be made to the shop fronts to create an attractive façade that announces the gateway into Reading town centre, creating a sense of arrival.
- The ground floors of the Corner Buildings will be vastly improved to attract high quality retail outlets and an indoor market and foodhall. Pop up stands will be created to show case international cuisines and other retail offerings, providing affordable spaces for entrepreneurs and independent businesses.
- The upper floors of the Corner Buildings will be converted into aesthetically pleasing and characterful Grade A offices. The offices will offer businesses high specifications and a desirable alternative with greater character and elegance than conventional offices.
- The hotel and residential apartments will be comfortable and stylish, conveniently placed in Reading with easy access to central London.
Thackeray Estates has an unrivalled track record in preserving heritage buildings and redeveloping them into contemporary spaces where people want to work, live and play. The Company recently redeveloped more than £50m of London City real estate at 25-39 Eastcheap (the “Eastcheap Estate”), adjacent to the Walkie Talkie building. The Eastcheap Estate comprises of Grade A offices and prime retail spaces in prestigious Grade II and Grade II* buildings. The Thackeray Estate has redeveloped and restored these iconic buildings into a vibrant village for City workers, offering a wide range of trendy eateries and luxury, contemporary spaces which people can enjoy both during and outside working hours. All units are fully let and occupied by popular and high quality retail tenants such as Joe & the Juice, Black Sheep Coffee, Blacklock, Baygo, Adam and Waka.
Charles Thompson, Director at The Thackeray Estate, commented:
“We are delighted to be investing in Reading, an economically important and strategically located town rich in culture and heritage. Like so many of our previous projects including the recently completed Eastcheap Estate, our vision is to create a bustling village at the gateway of the town centre with an array of international eateries, retail outlets, modern offices and hotels. Importantly, these buildings will be restored with care and quality that is synonymous with Thackeray’s ethos and brought back to its former glory.”