Photograph © Andrew Dunn
Some 12 shops are currently empty in London’s Regency-period Burlington Arcade, which runs between Piccadilly and Bond Street and is right beside the Royal Academy. Built in 1918, Burlington Arcade is London’s oldest shopping mall and belongs to the billionaire Reuben brothers, who bought it for a reported £300m in 2018. Now, it is targeting art galleries as future tenants to fill the 12 empty units. They would join a mix of luxury goods purveyors including jewellers, high-end shoes and fashion retailers. Spearheading the task of finding the galleries is David Rosen of the agents Pilcher London, who is also responsible for marketing the art spaces in Cork Street. Each Burlington Arcade unit offers around 1,000 sq. ft of space spread over four floors, with about half of that located on the ground floor. Rosen does not want to reveal pricing, saying it will depend on the length of the lease and size of the units, but rates are “in line with the market”; he emphasises he is “flexible” in negotiations. However, another agent is offering two units, one of which, measuring 940 sq. ft, is advertised at a rent of £100,000 (plus just over £113,000 in business rates) per annum.“I’m looking for the right mix of good, independent art galleries,” Rosen tells The Art Newspaper, pointing out that each unit is “a self-contained bijou building” in the prestigious location. One tenant who has already taken two shops is Saatchi Yates, whose large main gallery is just across the road in Cork Street.