Hammerson has acquired Les Terrasses du Port, Marseille, one of the largest shopping center developments anticipated in France in the next few years. The vendor is Foruminvest, a private developer based in Holland. The initial capital commitment, including acquisition costs, is expected to be approximately 50 million in the first six months.
The total development cost will be approximately 450 million.
The 52,000 m² center will provide 150 stores, 2,850 car parking spaces and a 260 meter-wide restaurant terrace overlooking the sea. The center is attracting strong retailer interest at this stage with over 30% of the retail space pre-let. Net rental income is anticipated to be approximately 33 million. Enabling work is expected to start in late 2010. The total development cost will be approximately 450 million.
Benefiting from excellent transport links, the city center project forms part of Euroméditerranée, a wider government-backed program to regenerate Marseille, France's second largest city. Les Terrasses du Port will also be adjacent to the tourist port terminal for Sardinia and Corsica, which sees around one million tourists each year.
Hammerson has also acquired, as part of the transaction, up to four other development projects in France at pre-planning stage which could provide over 100,000 m² of retail space.
David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson said: "Les Terrasses du Port is one of the largest retail development projects in France and an important element in the ongoing regeneration of Marseille. When completed, it will represent the largest concentration of retail in the center of Marseille, a dynamic city with a growing population. This acquisition provides an exciting opportunity for Hammerson to grow its French business and capitalize on the company's strong track record of retail-led urban regeneration projects."
Hammerson's most recent development project in France was completed in 2008, a 25,000 m² extension to O'Parinor, to the north of Paris. In the UK it has completed three major retail-led regeneration schemes in the past 18 months: Highcross, Leicester; Cabot Circus, Bristol; and most recently Union Square, Aberdeen.
Hammerson was advised by Close Brothers and Gide Loyrette Nouel