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Crown Estate presses go on McAslan's £100m Duke's Court after Brexit pause

Crown estate st james's
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The Crown Estate is to press ahead with the £100 million redevelopment of Duke’s Court, central London, designed by John McAslan + Partners, with work starting next month

The proposed retail and office block, on the corner of Duke Street St James’s and Jermyn Street in St James’s, was placed under review following the EU referendum result.

But now Crown Estate, the royal family’s property arm, has confirmed that work is set to get underway on the scheme, which was granted permission by Westminster City Council in June.

The proposals – part of a wider £500 million investment in St James’s – include 3,250m² of office space, 1,020m² of retail units, and restaurants on the ground and basement levels. A vacant building on the site will be demolished to make way for the scheme.

As part of the same project, six new apartments are also planned on the upper floors of another building at 33 Bury Street.

The scheme was designed by John McAslan + Partners and will be delivered by Skanska. 

Crown Estate director of central London, James Cooksey, said: ‘We’re committed to re-establishing St James’s as a world-class business and lifestyle destination.

‘Such an investment reflects our belief in the fundamentals of London’s West End, notwithstanding the near-term market outlook, and its continued performance over the long term through creating fantastic buildings that stand the test of time.’

The Crown Estate owns around half of the buildings in the St James’s area, and earlier this year completed its £400 million redevelopment of St James’s Market with Oxford Properties –  including 24,155m² of office space, seven restaurants and five flagship stores.

Work on Duke’s Court will begin in January, with the project set to complete by spring 2019. 

The Queen currently receives 15 per cent of the profits made by the Crown Estate’s property portfolio, although this is set to increase to 25 per cent – amounting to £76.1 million for 2017/18 – for 10 years while refurbishment works are carried out on Buckingham Palace. The remaining profits are paid into the Treasury each year.

Project data

Location Duke’s Court, St James’s on corner of Jermyn Street and Duke Street St James’s
Type of project redevelopment of commercial block
Client The Crown Estate
Architect John McAslan + Partners
Planning consultant CBRE
Main contractor Skanska
Start on site date Demolition to commence 3 January 
Completion date Spring 2019
Gross internal floor area 4,274m²
Total cost £100 million  


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