Water Gardens Main Image

Harlow – The Water Gardens

20 June, 2024
When you’ve worked on a retail scheme for 17 years, it’s fascinating to reflect on how the evolution of UK Retail has played out in that location and the key role you’ve had as an agency in shaping that!  And that’s certainly the case for us with The Water Gardens, Harlow.
Water Gardens Main Image

Having recently wrapped up our involvement on the scheme, we’ve had the opportunity to look back at all we’ve achieved in the town centre since we were first instructed back in 2007. And it’s fair to say we’re incredibly proud!

Developed by Wilson Bowden and opened in 2004, today the mixed-use scheme is owned by abrdn and represents a thriving town centre destination, offering a diverse tenant mix which spans international, national and independent operators.

When we first stepped foot in The Water Gardens, tenants included the iconic Woolworths, Topshop/Topman, HMV and Pizza Hut, as well as other blasts from the past such as Jane Norman, Abbey and Carphone Warehouse.

Today – thanks to the hard work of Filippa Mudd and Henry Foreman, and abrdn as very proactive asset managers – the scheme truly covers all the needs of the town and its people.  Comprising Harlow Council’s civic office and a 77,000 sq ft Asda foodstore, it also features an element of out-of-town in the form of TK Maxx and Matalan, alongside 365,000 sq ft of further retail and leisure space let to key high street retailers including River Island, H&M, Sports Direct, Waterstones and Robert Goddard.  There are also 6 restaurant units let to nationally renowned brands including Loungers, Nando’s, Wagamama and Five Guys.

Having continuously evolved the tenant mix to ensure it meets the changing desires of local shoppers, the results are clear to see. Retailers trade incredibly well in Harlow and, despite turbulent periods in the wider retail market over these last 17 years, it has remained the dominant shopping destination in the town with low void rates that buck national trends. The Water Gardens has been consistently fully let and we are thrilled to leave it fully let.

At FMX we pride ourselves on developing long standing client relationships, and Harlow isn’t the only example of this.  We’ve now been instructed on both Federated Hermes' centre:mk in Milton Keynes and Evolve Estates' The Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Northampton for 10+ years (Northampton from both an agency and professional perspective), while at Crowngate in Worcester – which was recently sold by The Crown Estate - we were also instructed for 10+ years!

Get in touch with our agency team to find out how we could work with you to boost your scheme’s performance!


Sign up for property alerts

Enter your name and email address below to subscribe to our property email alerts.