London landlord launches innovative leasing approach

labtech copyLabTech, owner of Camden Market, and Colliers International has created an innovative new approach to leasing the retail and F&B element of Hawley Wharf, the 580,000 sq ft mixed-use destination that is due to open in Camden this autumn.

The programme, which will formally launch at an open house event in Hawley Wharf on April 9, is designed to make it as easy and attractive as possible for entrepreneurs, independents and artisans, including those new to bricks and mortar, to take space in the development.

Creating flexibility and reducing risk for start-ups and fledgling businesses is key to the programme. LabTech and Colliers will be offering turnover rents, shorter-terms, and providing a baseline kitchen fit-out for F&B brands. According to analysis by LabTech and Colliers, the approach could significantly reduce start-up costs for operators.

Tomer Bercoviz, LabTech’s commercial director responsible for Hawley Wharf, said: “We recognise it is important to break down barriers for entrepreneurs, independents and artisans. That means sharing the risks, increasing the ease with which such businesses can take space, and supporting them as they grow.  In addition, our strategy enables us to support international brands looking to break into the UK market for the first time, providing them with a platform in the heart of Camden that will give them the opportunity to grow globally.”

Reflecting that many of the potential brands will be owner-operated businesses, the Hawley Wharf leasing team is also adopting an unconventional approach to sourcing and securing occupiers.  The open house event on April 9 is aimed at potential operators, and has been promoted extensively via social media, adverts in Time Out and online.  The team has also visited London’s leading markets and food destinations, talking to independent businesses about the possibility of expanding into Hawley Wharf.  Interested brands are then invited to pitch their ideas to the Colliers team directly via social media and the Hawley Wharf website.

Bobby Blake, director at Colliers International, commented: “Hawley Wharf is a different type of destination, not just for Camden, but London as a whole.  Offering a mix of spaces, from large and small units, kiosks and converted railway arches, it will be a place where brands can thrive in a collective community. Delivering the vision, however, means taking a different approach to both how the leasing is done and the nature of the relationship between the landlord and occupier.”

Josh Leon, head of Central London restaurants at Colliers International, added: “Our pioneering leasing concept at Camden is based on what we are seeing in food halls, which are gaining momentum in London.  In Hawley Wharf, however, we are leasing each space individually rather than outsourcing the whole operation.  We are sharing the risk to attract the best operators we can so we can deliver a phenomenal F&B offer for visitors.”

Hawley Wharf Camden is a 580,000 sq ft mixed-scheme destination that will deliver a unique Camden-style ecosystem for visitors and workers to enjoy.  The canal-side mixed-use development will provide 150 shops, over 60 places to eat, 195 apartments and 50,000 sq ft of co-working space.

Colliers International represents Hawley Wharf Camden.


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