Resolution buys Spain's Megapark Barakaldo for £177 million (ES)

Resolution Property has acquired a major retail park investment in Bilbao, Spain for £177 million (€258 million), as part of its ongoing European investment programme.

Resolution, advised by Jones Lang LaSalle and Lovells, has acquired the 83,000 m² freehold retail and leisure investment at Megapark Barakaldo, from Arcona Iberia and their joint venture partners. The off-market deal was financed by Hypo Real Estate Bank International and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Bilbao, the capital of Vizcaya province, has a population of 1.3 million. Its retail catchment of over 2.5 million people has one of the highest disposable incomes in Spain. Megapark Barakado is located off the A8 motorway, which links Bilbao city centre to Santander, Vitoria and San Sebastian.

Megapark Barakaldo has been developed in three phases providing over 125,000 m² of retail space that is anchored by owner occupiers IKEA and Leroy Merlin. The park includes 7,500 car spaces. It is the first fully integrated regionally-dominant retail and leisure park of its kind in single ownership to be developed in Spain. The first phase of development consisted of 44,800 m² of retail warehousing and opened for trade in 2004, at the same time as Leroy Merlin and Ikea. The second phase of development is a 20,000 m² gallery that is due for practical completion imminently. This phase is still in the early stages of leasing and therefore will be the main focus of Resolution's asset management strategy over the coming months.

The final phase of development comprises 18,600 m² of leisure that is scheduled for completion in spring 2006 and will be anchored by a 11-screen cinema with IMAX.

Resolution is looking to add to the impressive tenant mix that has already been secured by the developer through active marketing and creative asset management. Megapark has already attracted some of the biggest names in retail warehousing, including the likes of IKEA, Leroy Merlin, Mediamarkt, Saturn, Decathlon, PC City, Toys R Us Kiabi, Surcouf and Conforama.

Nigel Robson, Director of Resolution, said: "This is one of the strongest and most impressive retail park investments in Europe in terms of its location, critical mass, tenant mix and design. The developer has done an excellent job in creating a first class product with a first class tenant line-up. In conjunction with our agents Jones Lang Lasalle we have been presented with an excellent platform upon which to implement the opportunities we have identified that will further improve the quality of the asset."

Resolution Property currently has close to £200 million (€292 million) of equity which it is actively looking to invest in European property assets, as part of a £1.3 billion (€1.9 billion) investment programme for its European and US investors. Spain and Portugal are among a number of European locations targeted for investment, particularly in the retail warehousing sector. The Megapark Barakaldo acquisition follows the purchase late last year of the Centro Commercial Carrefour retail park, in Aveiro, Northern Portugal, by an investment vehicle owned jointly by Resolution and Madford Developments Ltd.

Source: Tamesis

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