Busy British Land buys London retail park, part-sells Bury retail centre
British Land has been busy over the summer reshaping its property portfolio, selling off “mature assets” to finance acquisition “opportunities”, with a focus on Campuses and Retail & Fulfilment.
And the latter includes buying the east London Thurrock Shopping Park for £82 million and the City of London’s underground Finsbury Square Car Park for £20 million and “to create development opportunities for urban logistics”.
British Land described the Thurrock purchase as “a clear urban logistics development opportunity, given its prime location just off the M25 and proximity to east London”.
In its current use, BL said the shopping park has a strong occupier line-up, including Decathlon, Adidas, Nike and TK Maxx. “It also benefits from an excellent catchment where significant population growth is expected”, BL added.
The car park buy, situated close to the Broadgate campus development and Moorgate station, also “provides an excellent opportunity to create a last mile logistics hub in the City of London and where supply for last mile logistics is highly constrained”, it added.
In the divestment column, British Land has part-sold the 146,000 square feet Woodfields Retail Park in Bury, Lancashire, for £37.5 million, 18% ahead of book value, it noted. It has also sold the Virgin Active complex in Chiswick, west London for £54.3m in line with book value.
“Proceeds from our disposals are being recycled into acquisitions and value accretive development including more than 1million square feet of new development commitments since November 2020`’.
CEO Simon Carter added: "Leasing activity at our London campuses has been strong, with a significant amount of space going under offer to a broad range of occupiers in the last two months.
“At the same time, we are continuing to deliver against our strategic priorities. We have sold off-strategy mature assets and will actively redeploy capital into opportunities that allow us to maximise our competitive advantage in asset management and development”.
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