Capital & Counties Properties Plc, the London developer that owns most of Covent Garden, won approval to build 45 apartments in the district as well as shops and restaurants as property values in the city reach records.
The developer’s 103,000 square-foot (9,550 square-meter) project includes a pedestrian street between Long Acre and King Street to boost the number of people passing through Covent Garden. Westminster Council voted in favor of the plan at a meeting yesterday.
CapCo sold apartments in the district for about 2,400 pounds ($4,000) a square foot this year, a record for the area, it said in a Nov. 15 filing. Greater London home prices reached a record 456,207 pounds in September, up 7.9 percent from a year earlier, according to researcher Acadametrics Ltd. CapCo’s assets in the district, known for its shopping and leisure attractions, are valued at 1.1 billion pounds.
“These plans will have a significant impact on how visitors experience Covent Garden,” Chief Executive Officer Ian Hawksworth said in a statement today. The project will “bring a critical mass of new retail, dining and residential.”
Work on the development will probably start in June and will take as many as three years to complete, according to the statement.
Planning approval “is an incremental positive for the overall plan at Covent Garden, which is already seeing substantial value creation through brand repositioning as well as benefiting from consolidation of ownership around the estate,” Jefferies Group LLC analysts including Robert Duncan wrote in a note to clients today.
Hawksworth sold CapCo stock after exercising options for 1.73 million shares, according to a Dec. 5 filing. He sold 3.8 million pounds of stock on Dec. 2 at 3.22 pounds a share, the filing said. Two days later, he sold 53,620 shares to his pension plan and disposed of 21,380 more shares on the open market at 3.25 pounds each.
The CEO had almost 777,000 shares before exercising the options and selling the stock and now has about 755,600 shares, said Michael Sandler, an external spokesman for CapCo at Hudson Sandler Ltd.