West End Tour: Unveiling the Future of Mixed-Use Developments

The London real estate scene is abuzz with innovation, and the recent CULS West End Tour offered a glimpse into the future of mixed-use developments. This event wasn’t just about admiring stunning architecture; it was a deep dive into the strategic integration of retail, marketing, and a vibrant community experience. Ryan Lenny, Account Executive, joined industry leaders for a sun-drenched afternoon with insights and discussions.

The tours explored two groundbreaking projects: Lucent (by Landsec) and One Berkeley Street (by Crosstree Real Estate Partners LLP). These mixed-use developments are more than just brick-and-mortar; they represent a thoughtfully curated blend of retail spaces, captivating F&B experiences, inspiring office environments, and modern residential units.

Today, forward-thinking developers are embracing the transformative concept of mixed-use developments, a trend likely fueled partly by the rise of remote work after the pandemic. 

Take Lucent, for example. This visionary development boasts two floors dedicated to Landsec’s innovative Myo flexible office brand. Myo provides tenants access to beautifully designed and equipped communal spaces, including kitchens, meeting rooms, and lounge areas.  This eliminates the need for companies to incorporate these spaces into their own individual units, maximising efficiency and reducing overall square footage requirements. 

The presence of Myo within Lucent enhances the value proposition for retailers and strengthens the appeal of coming into the office. In today’s post-pandemic world, where remote work is prevalent, companies must offer employees a compelling reason to return to the office. 

Myo’s thoughtfully designed and calming workspaces provide a welcome respite from the often-hectic pace of London’s West End. Colleagues can collaborate in a bright, airy meeting room, then unwind with a cup of coffee in the inviting lounge area—all without ever leaving the building. This seamless integration of work and leisure fosters community and belonging, making the office experience more attractive.

Further amplifying this sense of community is a concept called “Below the Lights” by Landsec. This innovative experience space resides directly beneath the world-famous Piccadilly Lights. 

Spanning three floors and boasting over 6,650 square feet, Below the Lights offers a unique opportunity for brands to connect with consumers faster and more profoundly. The innovative space has been designed in response to the growing demand for premium experimental marketing spaces. It can be tailored for product launch events, a creative workshop, or indulging in exciting brand showcases around cultural events like Wimbledon – all within the heart of London’s bustling West End. 

It leverages the concept of pop-up experiences to cater to modern short attention spans and the insatiable appetite for fresh, viral content. With its focus on short-form videos, TikTok has emerged as a powerful marketing tool for these fleeting retail experiences. 

Soon, brands could partner with TikTok creators to develop engaging videos showcasing the product’s features and benefits within the unique setting of Below the Lights. With their established audiences and captivating editing styles, these creators will generate excitement and anticipation for the launch, driving footfall to Below the Lights and propelling the brand onto a national or global stage. 

The nature of pop-up experiences aligns perfectly with the fast-paced world of TikTok. Like a trending TikTok video, a pop-up experience offers a unique and fleeting opportunity that consumers won’t want to miss. This sense of urgency can be leveraged to create a buzz and encourage people to visit Below the Lights before the experience disappears.

Another marketing experience that came to light (pun intended) was the iconic Piccadilly Lights. This landmark, situated in the heart of London’s West End, is not just a collection of bright signs; it’s a cultural phenomenon and a global marketing powerhouse. 

The current iteration of the Piccadilly Lights boasts a single, super-high-resolution LED screen, the largest in Europe. This technological marvel provides a captivating canvas for brands to showcase their creativity. The dazzling displays reach far beyond their immediate audience, capturing the imagination of viewers worldwide. Tourists flock to Piccadilly Circus to experience the lights firsthand, and countless others encounter them virtually through social media shares and online content. 

Travel bloggers and influencers utilise lights’ iconic status, incorporating them into content to create a sense of wanderlust and cultural immersion for their global audience. The Piccadilly Lights transcend their physical location, becoming a virtual postcard that beckons viewers to experience London’s vibrant spirit for themselves.

A brand featured on the Piccadilly Lights is catapulted onto a global stage, achieving instant recognition and burning its image with prestige. Research by Ocean Outdoor, which owns the advertising rights to the Piccadilly Lights, confirms this impact; 8 out of 10 respondents spontaneously named the Piccadilly Lights when asked about memorable advertising experiences in the area. Furthermore, the study found that consumers associate brands displayed on the Piccadilly Lights with positive attributes like being global, modern, and innovative.

At Toolbox Marketing, we understand the importance of this digital-physical harmony. As a full-service marketing agency catering specifically to the needs of retail and mixed-use developments, we offer a comprehensive suite of services. Our team of experts in placemaking, strategic marketing planning, digital campaigns, social media management, and captivating graphic design works collaboratively to ensure your development thrives.

Contact Toolbox Marketing today. Let’s discuss how we can help you craft a winning marketing strategy that positions your mixed-use development for success!

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