More change in London’s West End as Outernet plans take hold

More change in London’s West End as Outernet plans take hold
The Outernet plans to revolutionise how nearby retailers cover rent rates.
// The Outertnet to subsidise rent rates for music retailers on Denmark Street
// Colossal structure brings 20,000 sq ft of commercial space to Tottenham Court Road
// Set to open in 2020, ahead of Oxford Street’s regeneration in the next three years.

Can high-tech advertising save central London’s retailers? New public space the Outernet will bring 20,000 sq ft of screened commercials to Tottenham Court Road, in a bid to save the area’s embattled music retailers.

It’s been described the Telegraph as “London’s answer to Times Square”, with an inner cube of screens enabling fashion labels, art galleries and film studios to take over advertising space, and even atomising the air with scents.

READ MORE: Countdown begins for Oxford Street’s £2.9bn makeover

Designed by architecture firm Orms and costing around £350 million to build, chief executive Philip O’Ferrall told the Telegraph the Outernet will be an asset “worth around £1 billion”.

The Outernet has been built on land owned by Consolidated Developments, who have been buying up property in Soho for the past 14 years.

According to reports by the Telegraph, shops nearby have been able to sign new, below-market-rent long leases that only allow music stores on the street.

The rest of the required funds will be raised via advertising in the Outernet, through creating a space open to the public where brands can carry out branding campaigns.

The box is expected to raise £60 million in its first year (slated for 2020), subsidising the retailers occupying Denmark Street, a new recording studio and a new 2,000 person capacity music venue.

“There’s no commercial sense to do what we’re doing,” added O’Ferrall, formerly executive vice president at Viacom. “We believe … we’re going to make money upstairs, we’ve got a venue downstairs,” he told the Telegraph.

When complete, the Outernet will sit at the centre of the West End’s rapidly changing retail offering.

Earlier this week the New West End Company announced the biggest changes to Oxford Street in 50 years, with a separate £2.9 billion retail transformation of the shopping street set to “catalyse the birth of a new West End”.

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