British Land has acquired the Woolwich Estate, covering 4.9 acres in south-east London for a headline price €116.8m (£103m) representing a net initial yield of 4.1%. This acquisition is in line with the company's strategy of focusing on well-connected, mixed-use assets which meet the evolving needs of their occupiers and customers.
The estate covers 360,000 ft² of space in central Woolwich. Predominantly retail, it includes over 50,000 ft² of residential and 3,000 ft² of office space. The area is already benefitting from significant regeneration, led by the Elizabeth Line which launches from Woolwich in December 2018 reducing journey times to Canary Wharf and Bond Street to 8 and 22 minutes respectively. To coincide with this, 6,000 new homes have been built or are in the pipeline. The estate is currently 95% occupied, with an average lease length of under four years, and average rent of €19.3 (£17) psf, providing British Land with an attractive opportunity to strengthen the offer and mix in line with the improving catchment.
Charles Maudsley, Head of Retail, Leisure & Residential at British Land, said: “This acquisition provides a unique opportunity to create a thriving retail-anchored centre, benefitting from a mix of uses in an exciting, increasingly well connected and rapidly regenerating part of London. We have a long-term vision for the estate which will deliver space that works for retailers and their customers; which generates clear benefits for local communities and drives value for British Land. Across our London campuses and our multi-let retail properties, we have developed a clear and distinct advantage in managing mixed-use environments with development potential, and in enhancing and enlivening our space through placemaking. This acquisition plays very well with those skills.”
The Woolwich Estate comprises 56 retail units and has a footfall of 6 million. It benefits from an improving local demographic with over 40% of residents falling within the top three most affluent groups, per CACI consumer classification. Coinciding with the arrival of the Elizabeth Line, Greenwich Council is investing €35.2m (£31m) to deliver a new “Creative District” which will transform five historic buildings into theatre and concert space, with offices and restaurants.