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The Changing Face of Victoria; Six Reasons why Victoria has Finally Come of Age
For many years, Victoria was seen by many as a secondary village to the core West End, never quite matching the reputation of its counterparts, both in terms of amenities, quality of office space, as well as more general market perception. Commuters and tourists regularly passed through it, but rarely did they stop to see what was going on; A transient location. Times have changed, in recent years Victoria has benefitted from a huge amount of infrastructural improvement and mixed-used development, enabling it to offer occupiers and outsiders all that they need, both inside and outside of office hours. Here are our six top reasons why;
Nova Food Quarter
This is Victoria’s latest and arguably most impressive recent development, directly opposite the station, with 17 new restaurants and 3 pop up kiosks. Customers can get anything from Sushi to Doughnuts, breakfast to dinner, food or drink, making it the main contributor to Victoria’s new after-work social scene. No longer do you need to go to Mayfair to have drinks with your mates – Now they are happy to come to you!
TFL have gone through a lengthy redesigning programme to ensure fewer delays and less congestion around the station. The most recent of addition being the new North Ticket Hall on Bressenden Place, allowing commuters and visitors alike to exit and enter on the North side of Victoria Street, missing out the two road crossings. All other station improvement works and pedestrianisation works are due to complete in early 2018.
Retail & Leisure
Many local landlords have moved away from the ‘high street’ retailer occupiers and now opt for a more niche, bohemian offering both in retail and leisure. The large chain gym operators have been replaced by the likes of the very popular Gym Box and H2, whilst Victoria Street itself plays host to a Curzon Cinema and the new M Wine Store Private Members club.
Even to the untrained eye, it’s hard to miss the replacement of 1950/60’s post war architecture with well-designed sleek glass buildings that provide the area with a much more modern and impressive feel, replacing the 1960 wall of concrete that existed before. One of the best, Land Sec’s Zig Zag Building, designed by Lynch Architects won the World Architectural Festival ‘s best office building award last year!
There has been a comprehensive transformation of Elizabeth Street by Grosvenor, they have created a boutique retail and leisure haven on the doorstep of Victoria Station. Now, their new development at Eccleston Place will provide a cool serviced office and design quarter for the area. The old contrast between the functional Victoria and it’s a more glamourous Belgravia neighbour is becoming more blurred as both areas adapt and offer local occupiers the best of both worlds.
The influx of fashion brands to the area including Burberry, Jimmy Choo, Kering, and LVMH has created a very different feel. Now Vidal Sassoon has decided to relocate its main Academy to Buckingham Gate from Mayfair, that trend continues. The demographic has dramatically changed from oil and government workers to younger creative millennials.
The improvement continues in Victoria and the area looks set to be road-work and construction free by mid-2018, meaning it can now call itself an equal partner to its West End counterparts.