Waitrose announced as first retailer deal at London’s King’s Cross

Posted: Tuesday 19th February 2013
  • Quality supermarket brand Waitrose has agreed a deal for a 29,000sq ft gross food and wine shop and a 3,000sq ft cookery school in the heart of King’s Cross
  • The shop and cookery school are expected to move into the restored Grade II listed Midland Goods Shed and East Handyside Canopy in spring 2015
  • The branch will create 170 new jobs and the innovative cookery school will have designated free sessions for schools and priority groups in the local area

Waitrose has agreed a deal with King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership (KCCLP) to open a full line food and wine shop and cookery school in one of the development’s emblematic listed buildings.

Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership, has signed a 25 year lease for the 29,000sq ft gross food and wine shop and a 10 year lease for the 3,000sq ft cookery school. They will occupy part of the Grade II listed Midland Goods Shed and East Handyside Canopy, in the heart of the 67 acre site at King’s Cross. The retailer also has plans for a store café with tables spilling out at the southern end of the building, beside the Regent’s Canal.

Waitrose is currently the only UK supermarket to have its own cookery school after opening its first above its John Barnes shop in Finchley Road in autumn 2010.

In addition to offering paid-for courses, Waitrose will work with KCCLP and Camden Council to provide a series of free sessions throughout the year for school and other priority groups from the local area. The aim of the free sessions is to develop the culinary skills of the capital’s young cooks by teaching basic cooking skills and inspiring a passion for good food. The sessions would cover nutrition, healthy eating and balanced diets.

Applications for reserved matters approval and listed building consent are likely to be submitted in May. Construction is anticipated to start in late 2013 with the shop and cook school due to open at King’s Cross in spring 2015.

The new supermarket will not have a car park but will have a customer drop off/pick up area and customers will also be able to use the multi-storey car park, which is being built elsewhere in the development and is intended to be delivered in 2015 too. The new supermarket will be in close proximity to superb public transport connections, being five minutes from King’s Cross and St Pancras mainline stations, as well as being surrounded by new and existing homes, offices, schools, community facilities and public spaces at King’s Cross creating an excellent customer catchment on the doorstep.

Richard Meier, Partner at Argent, Asset Manager for KCCLP, said:

“It is fantastic to have a quality brand like Waitrose sign up at King’s Cross. We are creating a truly mixed-use development and this supermarket will become an everyday attraction both for the residents, students, workers and visitors already on site, as well as the wider local community.

“King’s Cross is becoming a retail and restaurant destination and this Waitrose shop will create a fantastic shopping experience with real character located within the restored Grade II listed buildings.

“The innovative cookery school is particularly exciting and an important part of the place we are creating at King’s Cross and we look forward to working with Waitrose and Camden Council to see it benefit local schools and groups in the area.”

The King’s Cross branch will create 170 new jobs.

Waitrose Managing Director, Mark Price, said:

“We’re delighted to be part of the continuing regeneration of King’s Cross and are looking forward to creating up to 170 new jobs and building on the success of our school in Finchley Road.

“We always believe that, as a food retailer, we have responsibility to help educate and inspire people not only when it comes to their weekly shop but also when it comes to creating and enjoying good food. It’s fantastic to give even more people the opportunity to develop their culinary skills.”

Bennetts Associates, architects renowned for their expertise in restoration and sustainability, have been appointed to restore and convert the building and structure. They will also create 25,000sq ft of unique office space alongside the store.

The Midland Goods Shed was built by the Great Northern Railway in 1850. It served as a temporary passenger terminal while the current King’s Cross station was being built and was even used by Queen Victoria who departed from here once. When King’s Cross station was completed, it became a goods shed and a three story annex was added at its southern end. The gently curved canopy, erected in 1888 to the east of the Midland Goods Shed, provided a covered area for the unloading of potatoes.

In total there is 500,000sq ft of retail space at King’s Cross. This deal follows others at King’s Cross including Caravan King’s Cross and Shrimpy’s in the Filling Station which are both open. With its Victorian railway architecture, canalside location and new public spaces as a backdrop, King’s Cross is fast becoming a new London shopping, dining and going out destination.

The deal with Waitrose is subject to funding and planning.

Lunson Mitchenall act as retail agents for the King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership.

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