In the latest episode of PropCast, Cadogan’s CEO Hugh Seaborn speaks to Andrew Teacher about the historic estate’s approach to stewardship, placemaking, and generating social value across its portfolio – which includes The Gaumont, a recently completed cultural destination on the King’s Road.

LISTEN to this podcast via Apple, Amazon, Spotify or SoundCloud (and many other platforms) or just use the player below:

It may come as no surprise to listeners familiar with west London’s most iconic neighbourhood, Chelsea, that business is booming.

“We’re seeing strong demand for shops on the King’s Road, with four or five offers on each property,” Cadogan’s CEO Hugh Seaborn notes.

“On Sloane Street, which is nearing the end of a significant public realm transformation, we have a lot of inquiries from existing occupiers to dramatically upsize – some are doubling or tripling in space.”

Cadogan is a property manager, investor and developer with a 300-year family history. Its holdings span 93 acres in Chelsea – across retail, residential, restaurants, cultural attractions, offices and 15 acres of gardens.

As the company’s Chief Executive since 2008, Seaborn has been relentlessly focused on using that real estate to deliver meaningful and impactful public spaces for those living, working in and visiting the area.

“I love the concept of public realm being the anchor, because that’s right at the heart of our holistic estate management,” he explains.

In doing so, Seaborn follows a simple rule: “The local community comes first every time.”

This strategy, in turn, is what makes Chelsea so alluring as a destination to visit. “I think the discerning international visitor is particularly attracted by the fact that this is a community-centric locality,” he describes.

One of the biggest projects currently in the works is the regeneration of the entirety of Sloane Street’s public realm – a £46 million investment.

“There doesn’t have to be a dividing line between commercial self-interest and social good,” Seaborn says. “What’s good for you financially as a business is also good socially for the community. Our prosperity and future is symbiotically linked to that of Chelsea.”

Projects like Sloane Street are very much part and parcel of Cadogan’s long-term approach to stewardship.

And as you might expect, sustainability features heavily in the business’ plans. Its Chelsea 2030 strategy has improved urban greening by 12% and seen a 10% reduction in carbon emissions across the portfolio since being implemented in 2021.

Its sustainability commitments go hand in hand with a mission to deliver social value – which is best encapsulated by The Gaumont, a flagship cultural development on the King’s Road, a £235 million, 220,000 sq ft development that includes a rooftop bar, cinema, ‘creative cluster’, meticulously restored heritage façade and a major new public art commission alongside retail, office and residential space.

Its name is a reference to the Gaumont Palace Theatre, located on the spot in the 1930s – and culture is absolutely at the heart of the creation.

Seaborn puts it succinctly: “It’s about bringing in flagship retail to balance King’s Road, to bring in another anchor to balance Duke of York Square, which is a great success, and to draw footfall along King’s Road.”

Drawing the interview to a close, Seaborn offers his best piece of advice: “You can’t catch a plane unless you buy a ticket.”

It’s no surprise, then, that by following precisely that ethos, Chelsea continues to thrive.

LISTEN to this podcast via Apple, Amazon, Spotify or SoundCloud (and many other platforms) or just use the player above.