Land Securities announces it has acquired a 30% stake in the Bluewater Shopping Center, Kent for £656 million (approx. €817 million) from Lend Lease. In addition, Land Securities has acquired the full asset management rights for the center and 110 acres of surrounding land for £40 million (approx. €49,8 million).
Lend Lease Retail Partnership owns 25% of the asset, M&G Real Estate and GIC own 35% and Hermes and Aberdeen Asset Management control 10%.
Bluewater is the UK’s prime shopping destination outside central London. It attracts 27 million visitors a year and its catchment is one of the most affluent in the country. The center totals 1.8 million ft² (approx. 167,225 m²) and is home to over 330 retailers, cafes, bars and restaurants, including Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser, John Lewis, American Eagle, Victoria’s Secret, Tommy Hilfiger, Jack Wills, H&M and Zara. It also includes 13,000 parking spaces.
Scott Parsons, Managing Director, Retail Portfolio at Land Securities, said, “The acquisition of this interest in Bluewater is part of the continued strategic shift of our retail portfolio towards dominance, experience and convenience. This acquisition, which increases our exposure to the South East, follows the recent disposals of Overgate, Dundee and The Bridges, Sunderland, and demonstrates the pace at which we are delivering on our strategy.
“We see opportunity to improve returns at Bluewater by reducing the void rate of 5.3% in line with our retail portfolio average of 2.6%, combining units to provide fewer, bigger units which are more attractive to retailers, and improving the leisure and catering offer. We are confident that our fresh approach to asset management together with the South East’s strong economy will deliver rental growth as market confidence returns.”
Source: Land Securities