The battle that is emerging from the Crown Estate’s decision to veto a letting to TK Maxx on Piccadilly Circus is set to hit the court earlier than expected at a trial in September.
A speeded up trial was ordered at the High Court yesterday on the basis that it would be an injustice if the claim was not dealt with until next year.
The Crown Estate, the freeholder on the building, had blocked the letting of TK Maxx at 218-229 Piccadilly in the 22,000 sq ft store because it claimed it breached the terms of its 125 year lease as it was not a ‘high class retail unit’ and would be selling ‘discount/low quality goods’.
Criterion argued that the store would compliment the existing offer in Piccadilly.
Lawyers acting for Criterion claimed that it could lose TK Maxx as a tenant if the trial was allowed to follow the due court process which could mean it took place between October and March next year.
However, it also said that the three-day trial date suggested by Criterion’s lawyers in July was too soon.
A spokesman from the Crown Estate said: ‘The Crown Estate is continuing to meet with the interested parties to find a suitable solution for this unit which fits in to our long-term vision and strategy for St James’s and Piccadilly.’
TK Maxx, as reported by Property Week in February, had hoped to take the former Sogo and Virgin Megastore unit on the south side of Piccadilly Circus as a new store.
A Property Week video interview of shoppers found that most would welcome the new store.