A massive underground wellness centre is to be built in a car park under Cavendish Square after plans for the project were approved by Westminster Council last week.
The centre, which will cost £150 million pounds and boast over 280,000 square metres of retail space, will house a range of healthcare, entertainment, retail, and leisure venues once finished.
The project is the brainchild of the Reef Group, who have described the project as “the world’s first wellbeing destination”. The group had initially planned to include a shopping complex in the centre, but the retail portion of the plan has now been scaled back due to the public’s increasing preference for online shopping.
The new complex will be set over four storeys, with the three existing levels of the Cavendish Square car park augmented by a new fourth level, below the existing car park.
The ground floor gardens at the complex will be landscaped and a series of ‘entrance pavilions’ will be created on Regent, Harley and Oxford Street. Access to the square will also be improved.
The new development, once completed, will be the largest underground leisure and retail space in London, at the size of four football pitches.
Cavendish Square was created by John Prince for the 2nd Earl of Oxford in 1717. The name of the square was chosen in honour of the Earl’s wife, Henrietta Cavendish-Holles. The development represented the first project Lord Oxford’s new central London estate. However, due to the South Sea Bubble and the resulting stock market crash, development of the square was to come to an abrupt halt.
Cavendish Square has become famous for its distinguished former residents – Liberal Prime Minister Herbert Asquith once had a house in the square and King George II’s daughter, Princess Amelia also once had a house in the square. The square is also known for its close connection to the medical profession.
Work is set to start on the new underground wellness centre later this year with an expected completion date of 2023. More information about the project can be found here.
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