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Contemporary art boom fuels Mayfair acquisitions

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6th Sep 11 3:19 pm

A boom in the contemporary art market is making a substantial impact on Mayfair property, with acquisitions for gallery spaces becoming more sought after than ever, according to The Lorenz Consultancy.

The property specialists say they have experienced a rush from gallery occupiers in the UK and abroad looking to secure retail premises.

“It is not just the location that they want,” says Lorenz head Anthony Epenetos, but “the correct atmosphere and feel of the building.

“They are prepared to pay rents and premiums to even outbid international retailers.”

Epenetos cites the quick sell behind the Alexia Goethe Gallery in Dover Street (pictured) which, when marketed, was sold within a month at a full market rent with a substantial premium, as an example of the current bullish market.

But liquidity is a problem. “Only a limited number of retail premises suit the bill and, therefore, investigating the open market is not really the key to satisfying demand,” says Epenetos, who chooses to look for alternative spaces and targets he describes as “less profitable retailers, carpet dealers, antique dealers and the like”.

These retailers, he says, might be more prepared to relinquish their holdings.

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