Jones Lang LaSalle's Shopping Centre Investment team has advised IM Properties on the sale of Wolsey Place Shopping Centre in Woking to Woking Borough Council for £68 million (approx. 75.8 mln.) reflecting a net initial yield of 8.20%. Woking Borough Council is the freeholder.
James Findlater, leading the sale at Jones Lang LaSalle, commented: "The sale is a strategic move for IM Properties who are recycling their equity into core assets. Woking Borough Council was able to take advantage of its access to low borrowing costs to fund the purchase which allowed them to compete with private sector investors. They will also benefit from marriage value from joining their two ownerships."
Wolsey Place Shopping Centre, which totals approximately 230,000 ft² of retail space, is anchored by a 23,000 ft² Sainsbury's supermarket and a 22,000 ft² Boots chemist. Approximately 30% of the income generated by the property is derived from a 100,000 ft² office tower let to Virgin Media for a further ten years.
Councillor John Kingsbury, Leader of the Executive at Woking Borough Council said: "The acquisition of Wolsey Place is a significant step towards underpinning the medium to long-term financial stability of the Council and strengthening the economic vitality of the town. With this key asset under our control, we hope to attract new retailers into the town and generate more jobs for local people. We will also be able to influence and shape the future development of Woking Town Centre."
Cllr Richard Sharp, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, added: "Local councils are operating in challenging financial times and we need to seek alternative ways of generating income. This acquisition puts the Council in a much stronger position as we venture into a future where councils need to do even more with even less. By making this investment in Wolsey Place, the Council will become more financially independent and better able to protect services for residents and future generations."