Statement from BlackRock UK
Putney Exchange has been an integral part of the town centre since its development in 1990 and within the current owner’s stewardship for over 20 years. During that time we have witnessed the constant changes in shopping habits and tried to keep pace with this evolution by adapting the retail and leisure mix to ensure that the Centre remains relevant to contemporary trends.
It has been well documented that High Streets across the UK are struggling to attract shoppers and the proliferation of empty units where there used to be thriving businesses is not an uncommon theme. Unfortunately Putney is no exception to this with the loss of a raft of national multiple retailers including Marks & Spencer, River Island and Top Shop. In order to preserve the vitality and viability of town centres alternative uses, often leisure-related, need to be introduced.
It is clear that the trading environment for retailers is tough for many well-documented reasons and we have witnessed significant decreases in tenant demand for retail space in Putney Exchange, partly as a result of tenant failures, leading to void units and falling rents, which are already significantly below prevailing levels of five years ago in real terms.
In addition, car park usage is in decline nationally – the car park at Putney Exchange has seen a 27% decline over the last five years. In light of these challenges, we are looking at ways to help breathe new life into the town centre for the benefit of Putney residents and visitors alike to encourage prolonged dwell-time, increase spend and attract fresh investment.
Whilst the owner has injected significant multi-million pound capital investment into Putney Exchange in recent years and continues to evaluate future, leisure-related initiatives including the introduction of a ‘boutique’ cinema and a gym, the Palmhouse proposition is one such initiative.
The four existing London venues run by Incipio Group have proved to be very popular and operate very successfully; they are well-managed and offer a real point of difference from the homogenous restaurants, pubs and bars that characterise many of our high streets. Incipio has created a bespoke concept that we firmly believe will make a positive contribution to the town centre by supporting a whole raft of businesses and encourage more people to visit, shop and spend their social and leisure time in Putney.
To view the planning application with Wandsworth Council, comment or support the plan please click here:
Director at BlackRock UK
Note: These pictures of The Palmhouse are an artist impression based on the current plans submitted for approval.