Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman have exchanged contracts on the sale of one of London’ s most iconic luxury shopping landmarks – Burlington Arcade in Mayfair – to billionaire businessmen and philanthropists David and Simon Reuben.
The Reuben Brothers have paid £300m for the property, which marks a significant profit for New York-based real estate business Thor Equities and London-based property investor Meyer Bergman who paid £104m for the Arcade, which they acquired in 2010.
Since the acquisition, however, significant investment has been made in the Arcade, which joins Piccadilly with Burlington Gardens, including a redesign by British architect Jamie Fobert who installed new stone floors and restored many original details.
The investment attracted a number of high profile luxury brands to Burlington Arcade including Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, milliner Maison Michael, watchmaker Bell & Ross and swimwear brands Vilbrequin and Eres.
Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt said of the deal: “After repositioning and restoring the Burlington Arcade to its former glory, we felt the time was right to sell this historic landmark. With its magnificent redesign and new luxury tenants, the property will remain a treasured London destination for generations to come.”
With an estimated wealth of £14m, the Reuben Brothers are among the most wealthy individuals in the world and in the top three in the UK, according to the last Sunday Times Rich List. The publicity-shy pair reside in Monaco and their large London property portfolio, includes many prestigious addresses in Mayfair as well as Millbank Tower, the John Lewis HQ in Victoria Street and a number of Sloane Street stores.
Burlington Arcade was unveiled in 1819 having been built by architect Samuel Ware at the order of Lord George Cavendish, owner of the adjacent Burlington House, now the Royal Academy. It was one of London’s earliest covered shopping arcades and initially was home to 47 business, including six run by “industrious females”. It later become know for its jewellers and watchmakers in particular and is still home to many historic names in the field today, including Hancocks, Johnson Walker, Richard Ogden and Tessier.
The Arcade covers 37,000 square feet of retail space with a combined frontage of over 1,100 ft; it attracts around 4m visitors a year.