A real mixed-use scheme will cater for the growing needs of office workers.
The London food scene is vibrant, exciting and changing. The meteoric rise of authentic street food, pop-up restaurants and environments that are as much about the experience as the food itself, means the London scene is now among the most exciting and boundary-pushing in the world.
Londoners eat out nearly four times a week, according to the 2014 Zagat London Restaurant Survey, putting the capital on a par with gastronomic centres such as New York, Tokyo and Paris. So it should come as no surprise that getting the food and beverage offer right is critical to the success of any mixed-use development.
Office workers expect far more choice at lunchtime than the traditional sandwich. A lunch break is a chance to socialise in a dynamic environment with a plethora of dining options.
Come the evening, somewhere that is dominated by offices by day can be transformed into the latest destination to experience the best food and drink that London has to offer. We are in the midst of a 2.2m sq ft, £2bn transformation of Victoria and that’s what we are setting out to achieve for the area.
Where once those who worked in Victoria would arrive at 9am and leave at 5pm, our redevelopment is focused on creating a vibrant, mixed-use environment where people want to live, work, shop and play.
That transformation is set to continue as Nova, our flagship development, comes to fruition. When the first phase completes in 2016, two new office buildings and one residential building on an island site opposite Victoria station will provide 726,000 sq ft of retail, residential and office space, as well as public space and amenities.
As well as outdoor dining and pop-up street food vendors, we are also looking to focus on small-chain restaurants; specialists who concentrate on a few dishes such as healthy grab-and-go lunches and ‘farm-to-fork’ provenance - trends identified by trend forecaster WGSN Group as set to grow over the coming years.
The scale of our London development pipeline means that placemaking is absolutely key to our success. What we aim to create at Nova will meet a very real need among the local community, serving both existing and new residents of Victoria, as well as the increasing number of office workers who are moving into the area and the retail and restaurant staff who will only increase in number.
Property is about far more than the four walls within which we live, eat or work. It has the potential to transform our everyday experiences - great environments are conducive to great experiences and the buildings we create contribute to the creativity of the people, restaurants or businesses within them.
Colette O’Shea is managing director, London Portfolio at Land Securities