The Crown Estate has invested over £160 million (approx. €191 million) in regional retail and leisure assets, acquiring Silverlink Shopping Park outside of Newcastle and agreeing to fund the development of a new leisure scheme in Milton Keynes.
With these investments the company will add ca. 327,000 ft² (approx. 30,378 m²) of new retail and leisure space to the portfolio.
Silverlink, one of the country's most successful shopping parks, has been acquired for £131 million from LaSalle Investment Management. A deal has also been agreed with Inter MK, the development company of MK Dons Chairman Pete Winkelman, to fund the creation of MK1 Leisure Park for £25 million.
Paul Clark, Director of Investment and Asset Management said: "Over recent years, shopping trends have led retail and leisure occupiers to increasingly consolidate into larger, more dominant schemes. This has driven our investment in prime retail assets outside of London giving us confidence that these types of schemes can deliver strong returns, particularly when actively managed. Silverlink and the new MK1 Leisure Park will make fantastic additions to our portfolio."
James Boyd-Phillips, Head of Retail - LaSalle Investment Management commented: "LaSalle Investment Management bought Silverlink in 2009 for £82 million and over the last four years we have established it as the dominant shopping park in the east of the city. The success of the park over the last couple of years has recently attracted H&M, which has signed a 15-year lease on a 12,729 ft2 unit, and encouraged M&S to agree to extend its unit to 38,000 ft². The sale of this asset is part of our retail strategy to recycle the capital into other opportunities."
Pete Winkelman, Inter MK said: "I am delighted we are once again working with The Crown Estate, our last project, the MK1 Shopping Park, has been such a huge success and I believe the new IMAX cinema and restaurant complex will be equally as popular. The new MK1 Leisure Park will only strengthen the overall site's reputation as one of the most popular leisure destinations in Milton Keynes and the wider region."
The Crown Estate’s investment strategy focuses on investment in central London property, offshore energy, rural strategic land and prime regional retail schemes, to generate profit, which is paid to the Treasury for the benefit of the public finances.
This strategy has seen the company establish a portfolio of dominant retail and leisure assets now valued at nearly £1.8 bln. The purchase of Silverlink pushes its exposure to 16 retail parks, consolidating its position as a top 10 owner in the sector.
Silverlink, which is currently fully let, comprises over 200,000 ft2 of retail accommodation and a standalone 30,000 ft² unit currently let to Wickes. The MK1 Leisure park will include an Odeon cinema, including an IMAX, and seven restaurant units already pre-let to a range of tenants including T.G.I. Friday's, Frankie and Benny's, Bella Italia, Nando's and Prezzo.
Source: The Crown Estate