The Crown Estate has just secured planning permission to redevelop two substantial office blocks on Regent Street. In total the buildings, known as W4 and W5 South, comprise 190,000 square feet of office space. London has a dearth of new developments at present, and the project will contribute to easing the expected bottleneck in the medium term future. The development also includes 70,000 square feet of retail space.
The Crown Estate earned almost £211 million last year to March 2010. Although the estate technically belongs to the monarch, he or she is not allowed to sell it and revenues go to the treasury rather than the king or queen. The portfolio is worth a total of £6 billion.
Three-quarters of the estate by value is located in urban areas, including a significant amount of commercial property in London, but it also includes £1 billion of rural properties as well as forest, agricultural land and shoreline.
Image: Flickr (Steve Parker)