I found this entry on Simon Perry’s blog while reading posts on the Westminster meeting.

Simon says:

How refreshing to be reminded of the interesting things that you can stumble across on the Internet. Davis Coffer Lyons are property advisers in London specialising in restaurants, bars, pubs (apparently). Their current property deals are quite interesting, but in particular, one of their old newsletters has the rent details for McDonalds Leicester Square.

This is distinctly old news for me. I work for Estates Gazette, the leading commercial property rag in, well, the world. The Coffer of Davis Coffer Lyons above is David Coffer, whom I’ve often met, and his son is our news editor.

The McDonald’s deal is not desperately surprising. Leisure rents around Leicester Square and retail rents on Oxford Street are amongst the highest in the world. Some chains have shops there which are only marginally profitable, because of the rent roll, or possibly even unprofitable, simply because you have to be there to be taken seriously. They’re flagship stores.

People’s eyes often glaze over when they realise I work for a commercial property title rather than a residential one and thus cannot advise them on their house price. Simon has realised the crucial thing; all businesses need property to operate out of and thus the commercial property market tells you more than you can imagine about business as a whole.

I can’t link to anything I’ve written for the mag, alas, because it’s buried deep in our pay site EGi. Of course, you can subscribe for £450 per annum.