The heart of London’s commercial gallery scene in jeopardy

Gabriella Griffith

Mayfair's Cork Street

Cork Street has been the home to many of London’s top commercial galleries for the most part of 100 years.

There are 22 galleries situated on the exclusive Mayfair road including The Redfern Gallery, Flowers Gallery and Alan Cristea Gallery.

But this opulent stretch of art dealers is under threat thanks to a luxury apartment deal struck by landlords Standard Life Investments. A third of the occupants on the street will have to leave the street as their buildings will be redeveloped into a luxury apartment block.

The site, 29-30 Burlington Street (which includes the Cork Street addresses) is about to be bought by a trio of international investors. Developer Native Land, Hotel Properties Limited and Amcorp will purchase the 83,000 sq ft site with a view to redevelop.

The deal will mean that 7 galleries will lose their leases and have to move out. The new plan for the site does apparently involve some gallery space, but will not be available until 2016 by which time the displaced galleries will have moved on.

Those galleries forced to relocate will be faced with a difficult task trying to stay in the exclusive postcode given the popularity of the area with retailers.

“It will be hell. It could be the death of the whole street. It’s very sad,” Owner of the family owned mayor gallery, James Mayor told The Guardian.

“It’s a nightmare trying to find suitable premises in Mayfair, the fashion trade has taken over everything,” he said.

Looks like the end of an era.

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