Soho independents close to make way for new 100-bed boutique

Small independent businesses in Soho, London are being moved out to make way for a new 100-bedroom hotel in Berwick Street.

The latest business, The Music and Video Exchange, closed its doors last week, before work begins to transform the 1960’s building into a boutique hotel.

Its closure follows the vegetarian Beatroot Cafe and That’s Andy hardware store, that shut down after planning permission was approved for the hotel project last year.

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The building in question is owned by the council, but they have sold the leasehold to PMB Holdings, led by veteran developer Peter Beckwith who will carry out the works.

Speaking to West End Extra, manager of the record exchange Chloe Dunlop said: “There is a lot of interest from big commercial industries in Berwick Street so it is getting increasingly harder for independent businesses to stay. Everything is shutting down in Denmark Street as well.

“It is sad, we’ve been here for nearly 20 years and we tried really hard to find a shop in Soho. We are still looking we don’t want to move out of the area.”

The new hotel will be accompanied by 16 new homes, including four family-sized, affordable flats and “improved shop units”, according to the application.

In a statement, PMB said: “The vision for the scheme is to regenerate Berwick Street and Hopkins Street and incorporate users and architecture to complement Soho’s character. Berwick Street Market will remain and PMB Holding is investing in improvements for the market, including new water and electricity supplies that are being installed for summer 2015.”



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