New joint venture acquires Walnuts shopping center, Kent (UK)

A joint venture, comprising Miller Developments, Ellandi and a Middle Eastern investment group advised by WW Advisors, has exchanged contracts to purchase the Walnuts shopping center in Orpington from clients of Aberdeen Asset Management, along with the Crown House, an adjoining vacant former job center, from Telereal Trillium.


The vehicle will reposition the shopping center within the regional retail hierarchy.

The new investment and development vehicle is quickly looking to progress plans to construct in excess of 60,000 ft² (approx. 5,500 m²) of new retail space on the site of the former job center, attracting new national retailers to the town.

The vehicle will invest in excess of £30 million (approx. €34.5 million) to reposition the shopping center within the regional retail hierarchy, reflecting Orpington's position as an affluent M25 town.

Miller Developments, which has undertaken similar schemes across Europe and the UK, will manage the proposed 60,000-ft² extension to the center while Ellandi, who are experienced managers of value and convenience UK shopping centers, asset manages the existing center.

WW Advisors is a Kuwaiti-backed, UK based company providing specialized real estate investment advisory and financing advisory services throughout Europe. It is currently advising Middle Eastern investors, which made its first investment last year with PingProperties to buy the Tango portfolio from ING REOFN in Holland for in excess of €150 million.

David Swan, Managing Director, WW Advisors commented: "With the Walnuts shopping center, we have secured on behalf of our clients an investment with strong redevelopment potential in an attractive location. We are excited about this acquisition with Miller Developments and Ellandi, and will continue to seek and examine opportunities for our clients for further projects that meet their requirements."

Phil Miller, Chief Executive, Miller Developments, added: "This deal presented the perfect opportunity for our continuing return to in-town shopping center development. We are pleased to be working with WW Advisors and Ellandi on a project which allows us to use our core retail development skills, and at the same time secure an attractive investment opportunity."

This represents Ellandi's second shopping center acquisition in as many weeks. Morgan Garfield, Founding Partner, Ellandi commented. "This deal further cements our reputation of being able to source, structure and fund off market transactions and we look forward to working with our partners on this major town center regeneration project."

Kitchen LaFrenais Morgan also advised on the purchase and have been retained to work on the existing scheme, which is currently let to retailers including Agros, Wilkinsons, Peacocks and 99p stores. They have also been charged with securing pre-lettings within the new development.

Source: Madano Partnership

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