A revised Planning Consent was granted in 2001 to change the upper part use from office to education and dance studio and the building constructed in 2002. An extensive archaeological dig took three months prior to building start and unearthed some important Anglo Saxon finds, including a gold broach which is exhibited in the City Museum.
The upper parts to the Royal Ballet School and the letting of the ground and basement retail unit to Zara. The Royal Ballet School was opened by Her Majesty the Queen in June 2002.
The building was designed by ECD Architects. The attached photo depicts the award winning Bridge of Aspiration designed by Wilkinson Eyre that links the Royal Ballet School with the Royal Opera House.
The end investment value of the retail unit let to Zara is circa £30m and has been retained with NFU Mutual’s property investment fund.
Royal Ballet School
In 2000 Salmon Harvester Properties Limited undertook the redevelopment of a block of eight properties in Long Acre, Covent Garden with frontage onto Floral Street adjacent to the Royal Opera House. SHP/NFUM acquired the block of properties (two of which were listed from the Royal Opera House who had used the property for a theatrical store together with secondary retail accommodation on the ground floor.
Existing planning negotiations took place with Westminster City Council and a new Planning consent was achieved to create a retail use at basement and ground floor level (12,000 ft2) with 40,000 ft2 of offices above.
Post site acquisition and prior to building contract commencement we were approached by the Royal Ballet School and agreed to develop the upper parts as a new headquarters and dance studios for the Royal Ballet School to accommodate their wish to relocate from their Barons Court site in Hammersmith and take up residence adjacent to the Royal Opera House which is the home of the Royal Ballet Company.