Reubens snap up ‘once in a generation opportunity’ in Mayfair

London's oldest car park takes up nearly half an acre of Shepherd Market in Mayfair

It’s been reported that the giant Electromobile Garage site in Carrington Street has been sold for “about £70m”.

CarringtonDating back to 1907, London’s oldest car park – which takes up nearly half an acre of Shepherd Market in Mayfair – has apparently been bagged by the Reuben brothers, who already own a vast chunk of Piccadilly including the neighbouring former In and Out Club.

The property has now been listed on the billionaires’ long inventory of Mayfair assets and a spokesperson told Estates Gazette: “We are delighted to be able to add this iconic site to our existing portfolio…the acquisition also allows us to integrate it into our existing Piccadilly portfolio.”

Currently leased to NCP but available with vacant possession at 20 working days’ notice, the unconsented site hit the headlines earlier this year after DTZ (now Cushman & Wakefield) and Savills began marketing the freehold on behalf of US investment firm Blackstone, and everyone started talking about it being one of the last “blank canvases” in Mayfair.

The sales bunf billed the proposition as a “once in a generation opportunity” and “an unrivalled opportunity to create a landmark and destination development in this super prime location”.

A potential end value of £500m was mooted at the time, with three planning options in the offing (all designed by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris). A super-luxe mixed-use conversion was one of them, to include some 17 apartments and penthouses, but there was also talk of transforming it into a hotel, gallery, casino or private members club.

Speaking when it all kicked off back in April, here’s Peter Wetherell: “The NCP car park off Carrington Street is a half an acre site occupied by a low rise concrete car park. Around it, fronting onto Hertford Street and Piccadilly are medium rise apartment buildings, some with direct views onto Green Park towards Buckingham Palace. It will certainly beat the last land sale in terms of value which was the Lodha acquisition of the Canadian Embassy site for £310 million.

“If the site was converted into luxury residential than the nearby Clarges Mayfair project is the perfect comparable. A very similar site equated to a half a billion project (£500 million) project of just over 30 ultra prime apartments which sold off plan for an average of £4,750 per square foot.

“The current plans for the NCP Car Park site look to being a mixed use development 5 floors of prime commercial office space, with luxury residential above circa 17 luxury apartments and penthouses, complete with several levels of basement car park.

“The Carrington Street car park site in Shepherd Market is the last piece in the jigsaw of the revitalisation of the oldest part of Mayfair which dates back to the 17th century. The car park has been a blight on the Shepherds Market landscape for far too long and this is the most exciting event for the local area since the opening of the chi-chi private members club at 5 Hertford Street.

“In the last 10 years Shepherd Market has undergone an incredible transformation. At its lowest point a decade ago it was Mayfairs ‘red light’ district, a seedy sister to Soho, and a hangout for Park Lane prostitutes, run down cafes and plant hire shops. The flats that did exist were all tired and outdated and Shepherd Market is where the super-rich of North Mayfair housed their staff who couldn’t stay in the staff wing of their mansions.

“Now the location has been completely transformed. The ‘red light’ area is long done and the tired cafes and plant hire shops have been replaced by a host of luxury brands including Tanner Krolle (once the favourite handbag marker to the late Princess Diana), Bill Amberg, Simon Carter and Polistas (who do the polo tops for the young Royals and Polo set). What we have seen on Mount Street further North in Mayfair is now being replicated in Shepherd Market. There’s a host of luxury residential going on with three major luxury multi-unit resi schemes being developed, and residential values, retail rents and lettings values are all rising in the local area. The area has become a real hot-spot for new luxury development.”

Here’s a rundown of what the Reubens now own in Mayfair

  • The Piccadilly Estate, including the In and Out Club at 94 Piccadilly, the former American Club at 95 Piccadilly, as well as properties fronting onto Piccadilly opposite Green Park at 90-93, 100 Piccadilly & the NCP car park on Carrington Street
  • 10-11 White Horse Street
  • 51-53 Brick Street & 1-6 Yarmouth Place
  • Three island blocks in the Shepherd Market area, including the iconic 5 Hertford Street. The club encompasses 10 Georgian town houses over a 23,000 square foot building, with Loulou’s on the lower ground floor
  • Academy House, Sackville Street
  • Connaught House, Mount Street
  • An eight storey office building on Berkeley Street
  • 30-35 Pall Mall & 22-22A St James’s Square
  • 139 Piccadilly
  • Hereford House, Oxford Street – home of the flagship London Primark store

..and here’s some of their other key investments across the capital

  • The Millbank Centre & Millbank Tower, Westminster
  • The John Lewis headquarters, Victoria Street
  • A seven floor office building on Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria
  • A Grade II listed building on Grosvenor Place, Belgravia
  • A three storey office building on Buckingham Gate, Victoria
  • Jubilee House, Putney
  • Numerous prime Sloane Street shops

Check out the original Carrington Street NCP investment brochure with all the plans here