Foyles is to leave its iconic flagship store on Charing Cross Road and move to a new "purpose built" bookshop next door on the central London shopping street in 2013.
The indie bookstore is currently based at 113-119 Charing Cross Road, London, but will move to 107-109 in around two years’ time after Noved Investment Holdings, owned by five members of the Foyle family, recently purchased the 74,780 sq ft area which houses the Central St Martin School of Art.
Noved says the move is a chance for the iconic family-run bookshop, which has been selling books on Charing Cross Road since 1906, to exist in a "purpose-built bookselling space" in the "literary heart of London."
Building work for the new Foyles’ store will begin at the end of the year and the bookseller will retain its "unique character", café and gallery space. The retail area will be spread across three levels with more bookselling space on the ground floor than in its current shop. US developer Hines is drawing up plans to create a residential space above the new store and a planning application for the redevelopment will soon be lodged with Westminster City Council.
Sam Husain, c.e.o. of Foyles, said: "This is a wonderful opportunity for Foyles to create a modern, purpose-built flagship store and guarantee the future of bookselling on London’s historic Charing Cross Road. "Although our customers may not realise it, we currently occupy over 40,000 square feet in five separate buildings at 113-119 Charing Cross Road; our new home, just 15 yards down the road, will provide a fantastic environment for book lovers and booksellers alike." The university will leave the building for its new home in King’s Cross this August and Foyles’ existing store will be available for redevelopment. Building work for the new Foyles store is expected to begin by the end of the year.
Noved's c.e.o. Philip Tolhurst said: "We have, over the last few years, been consolidating our portfolio of properties between Charing Cross Road and Greek Street, and we are delighted to have been able to acquire this building which gives us an excellent opportunity to re-house the store almost next door, and thus retain the reputation of this rapidly improving area as the literary heart of London.
"The designs for the new store from Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands are very exciting and will provide a landmark building appropriate for Foyles."
Foyles recently announced it will open its sixth branch in Bristol in March and last November it opened in the City of London at One New Change. Its other bookshops are at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s South Bank, in St Pancras International and in Westfield London.