Schroder UK Real Estate Fund (SREF) has signed 22,000ft² of lettings at its 60,000ft² Meadows retail park in Chelmsford, unlocking an investment opportunity that will reposition the asset in line with the changing needs of consumers. Works will commence in the coming months on the redevelopment with new occupiers targeting an opening in late 2020.
The €3.4m (£3m) reconfigurations of the former 24,750ft² Argos will create a new 10,250ft² PureGym on the first floor, with TGI Fridays and Cosy Club occupying new 5,000ft² and 6,500ft² units respectively. The leases have been agreed on 15 year terms. There is one unit of approximately 3,300ft² available to let within the new development.
Rob Cosslett, Investment Manager at SREF, said: “Our strategy for The Meadows centres on aligning its provision with its affluent, commuter catchment and providing the right facilities for consumers’ busy lifestyles. Taking a former Argos, creating a net increase of almost 1,000ft² of lettable space and securing brands that meet changing consumer preferences is a great result for Chelmsford and meets fund objectives both in terms of rent roll and asset positioning.”
George Oppenheim, Lunson Mitchenall commented: “We have worked closely with the landlord to sub-divide this former Argos unit to help create the right mix of brands and to make the space more attractive to occupiers. This deal represents a great example of how to successfully reconfigure space from retail to leisure, and we feel that these leisure brands complement each other well, creating the right mix for the Meadows retail park.”