LONDON, March 16 (Reuters) - The Crown Estate, which manages Queen Elizabe
th's property holdings, plans to spend 400 million pounds ($627 million) redeveloping three buildings near London's Piccadilly Circus, it said on Friday.
The St James's Market scheme will deliver 245,000 square feet of office, retail and leisure space, the Crown Estate said in a statement, adding it had further plans to create 40,000 square feet of new homes in the area.
'The regeneration of St James's Market is an opportunity to revive a neglected location at the heart of London,' Crown Estate Head of Development Alastair Smart said.
The Crown Estate, whose 10-year makeover of Regent Street transformed the stretch into a top shopping destination for brands such as Burberry and Apple, owns almost half of the buildings in the St James area.
It intends to apply for planning consent in the summer. The scheme takes its name from the now lost St James Market area, which between the 17th and 19th centuries hosted a busy hay and straw market.
The project is the second part of a 500 million pound regeneration programme for St James. The revamp's first phase was the Gateway Project, which involved a 100 million pound joint venture with Canadian pension fund Heathcare of Ontario Pension Plan.
($1 = 0.6382 British pounds)
(Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by David Holmes) Keywords: BRITAIN CROWNESTATE/
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