London’s upmarket St James’ area is to be given a makeover as part of landlord Crown Estate’s £500m regeneration programme to transform it into an “eclectic shopping destination”.

Crown Estate, which owns around half the buildings in the area in SW1, has had success in transforming Regent Street into a world class retail destination, and now aims to “enhance St James’s position as a stimulating shopping and dining destination by introducing new high quality occupiers”.

The redevelopment aims to “significantly improve the area’s public realm” by introducing new crossings, wider footways and reduced street clutter.

The Crown Estate head of St James’s portfolio James Cooksey said: “As a major St James’s landowner and with a proven track record in partnership led urban regeneration in Regent Street, The Crown Estate is ideally placed to work with the local community, landowners, businesses and political authorities, to deliver dramatic improvements in the area but importantly, to protectits unique history, heritage and architecture.”