In June this year Reef completed on the purchase of Boswells Department Store in Oxford City Centre as part of a joint venture with La Salle Investment Management and Oxford City Council. Reef have significant experience within the City having completed a joint venture with the Council and British Airways Pension Fund on the redevelopment of 4/5 Queen Street and St Aldates in 2018.
The Boswells Store first traded in 1738 and was the second oldest family-owned department store in the World. Prior to completion of the purchase, Reef were successfully granted planning consent for a 101 bed hotel, ground floor restaurant, bar and co-work space. Reef’s contractor, Gilbert Ash, have now started on site and the works will include the retention of the historic facades, part demolition and the addition of a fifth floor which will include a rooftop bar and external space looking over the City’s magical rooftops.
Reef will operate this new boutique hotel following practical completion. The design will have take reference to the site’s historic past and will also include a spa and co-workspace which will be open to the general public. Reef worked collaboratively with the owners and Council to maximise value for all parties and importantly to realise the key benefits of this significant regeneration for the City Centre in a post pandemic world.
The Reef team are extremely excited about the addition of this asset to their hotel portfolio which also includes The Gate in London and the Marriott in South Oxfordshire.