A joint venture between Hines and HSBC Alternative Investments Limited has acquired Aviva's 72.8% interest in the Liffey Valley regional shopping center in Dublin. The other 27.2% is owned by Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, who will remain a co-owner in the property.
Hines will assume the role of asset manager and is known for establishing new benchmarks in design and innovation in successful retail projects having developed signature shopping centers such as the Gallerias in Houston and Dallas, Diagonal Mar in Barcelona, Outlet Village Belaya Dacha in Moscow, and most recently, Hofstatt in Munich. Hines has also recently acquired retail centers around the U.S. and Russia.
Liffey Valley is one Dublin's major shopping centers and has a total floor area of 46,500 m² (500,000 ft²). The center is anchored by Marks & Spencer, Next, Dunnes Stores and Boots. In addition to the four anchors there are 63 stores, (including the newly opened Bershka and Apple re-seller iConnect) four restaurants, a 14-screen - 2,500-seat cinema and a dedicated food court with fast food restaurants and cafés. There are 3,150 free car spaces with unrivaled access off the M50 motorway.
Brian Moran, managing director of Hines Ireland said, "We look forward to working with HAIL and Grosvenor and the current and new tenants on the next stage of development of the best strategically located retail destination in the city. We believe that it is a good time to invest in major retail assets in Ireland and have a number of very exciting plans to expand and enhance this shopping destination over the coming years."
Paul Forshaw, Head of Real Estate Fund Management at HSBC Alternative Investments Limited, said, "This is the latest transaction by HAIL's Club Programme which provides clients of HSBC with access to otherwise inaccessible high quality real estate opportunities around the world. The Liffey Valley shopping center is a landmark asset with considerable upside potential thanks to an improving Irish commercial real estate sector, strong tenant demand and significant development opportunities."
Richard Powell, executive director, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said, "Grosvenor has a long association with Liffey Valley Shopping Centre having been involved since it was first developed and opened in 1998. We are committed to the next phase of the Centre's evolution and are looking forward to working with HAIL and Hines to bring it to fruition."
Paul McDonnell, Head of Property Finance, Bank of Ireland Corporate Banking stated, ''We are delighted to support Hines and HAIL in this important acquisition. Liffey Valley Shopping Centre represents a significant transaction in the Irish property market and highlights the continuing recovery of the sector and the wider economy. We look forward to supporting growth in the sector and we remain committed to leading the way in supporting domestic and international investment in the property market.''
Aviva Investors has been retained and appointed to act as transitional asset manager and was represented by DTZ. HAIL and Hines were advised by both HWBC, Dublin and Savills, London.