The Reuben brothers, the billionaire property tycoons who own Chepstow and Doncaster racecourses, have bought the iconic Burlington Arcade in Mayfair for £300 million.
Simon and David Reuben, whose interests also include data centres and shipping, are understood to have clinched the purchase last week after a previous sale to Monaco-born billionaire Patrice Pastor fell through, according to The Times.
The retail area, which houses over 20 jewellery companies, originally went up for sale for £400 million at the start of last year.
The grade II-listed shopping centre was built in 1819 by Lord George Cavendish, who demanded the addition of a roof to stop rowdy passers-by throwing oyster shells over the wall into his garden. It is still patrolled by liveried guards, or beadles.
The arcade was bought for £104 million in 2010 by Thor Equities, a New York-based property company, and Meyer Bergman, a European private equity firm.
Joseph Sitt, chief executive of Thor Equities, said: “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.”
Thor Equities and Meyer Bergman have performed several upgrades to the property while maintaining its historic appeal.
Redesigned by British architect Jamie Fobert, the Burlington Arcade now features striking stone floors sourced from English quarries, as well as restored original details including the building’s grand upper arches.
According to Professional Jeweller, the arcade welcomed a string of Chanel-owned labels in 2014 including swim and lingerie label Erees, watchmaker Bell & Ross, milliner Maison Michael, and knit label Barrie. They joined a roster of established jewellery retailers such as Michael Rose, Hancocks, Richard Ogden and Patrick Mavros; and brands including Azza Fahmy and Carat* London.
Heralded as a luxury landmark ever since it was unveiled in 1819, the arcade is the longest covered shopping street in the UK, uniting Piccadilly and Bond Streets in the heart of Mayfair.
With approximately 37,000 square feet of retail space and a combined frontage of over 1,100 feet, the arcade today attracts over four million visitors a year.
The latest deal by the billionaire Reuben brothers follows their purchase of a building in New York in February, which is reportedly going to become an American outpost of 5 Hertford Street, the exclusive private members club in Mayfair.
David and Simon Reuben paid about $40 million (£28.5 million) for the property on East 16th Street, near Union Square.
That followed the Reuben brothers’ purchase of a property in London’s Pall Mall for £35 million – their first purchase of the year.
In 2017, the brothers spent more than £200 million on property in London, culminating with the purchase of a St James’s building from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which could house a new London gallery. The brothers also won planning consent to transform the former In & Out members club into a luxury hotel.
DealMakerz thinks the Burlington Arcade deal is another sign that the Reuben brothers haven’t been put off by the economic and political uncertainty caused by Brexit.
The arcade adds to the brothers’ roster of luxury buildings spanning both sides of the Atlantic.