Pillar to purchase new £100m shopping park development in East Manchester

Pillar Property Plc announces today that it has agreed to purchase, via development stage payments, the Crown Point North Shopping Park in East Manchester. The park is currently being developed by Reeb Estates Limited (an associated company of Lombard Properties) and Maple Oak Plc (a subsidiary of John Mowlem & Co Plc).

Pillar has committed to purchase the scheme at a 5.75% net initial yield, which will result in an estimated end valuation for the park in the order of £100m.

The development has an open A1 non-food planning consent following the successful conclusion of public inquiry last year. The scheme will be a fashion orientated scheme of 212,500 sq ft comprising units which will range from 4,000 sq ft upwards, including one restaurant unit and 800 car parking spaces.

It is strategically located at Junction 1 of the M67, adjacent to Denton Town Centre, and within half a mile of Junction 24 of the M60 Orbital Motorway.

Commenting on the acquisition Pillar Director, Valentine Beresford commented;

“We are delighted to have formally agreed the details for the new Crown Point North development in East Manchester. I am confident that our combined skills will result in this scheme becoming Manchester’s premier shopping park and we have already received indications of interest from some of the UK’s leading retailers for space at the park, reinforcing the continuing buoyancy of this section of the retail property market.”

“This scheme takes the total development and funding of UK shopping parks which Pillar is involved with to in excess of 1.3 million sq ft, with an end value of over £0.6bn. All of these schemes are due to open to trade in the next three years”.

Reeb, in conjunction with Maple Oak and advised by Roger Hannah and Company, assembled over 150 separate ownerships over a 4 year period to create the 18 acre development.

Jon Westwood, of Reeb and Maple Oak, welcomes the deal with Pillar Property;

“We are pleased that a company with Pillar Property’s knowledge of the retail market has recognised the tremendous potential of this location. We know that the opening of the final section of the M60 Orbital Motorway together with the tremendous untapped retail demand in East Manchester will provide the basis for a very successful shopping park and see Pillar’s involvement as an endorsement of this vision.”

Marketing of the scheme has just commenced with joint letting agents Mowbray Gill and Lunson Mitchenall already receiving strong interest from national retailers.

Site clearance is now underway with construction of the park, being carried out by Mowlem, due to start in March next year with completion in time for Easter trading 2004. The design of the scheme is by architects BDP and will match the high standards associated with Pillar’s other owned and managed parks. The balance of fashion and High Street retailing within the final development is to be reflected in the finishes, layout and facilities the scheme will offer.

Lunson Mitchenall and FPDSavills advised Pillar in respect of the transaction and Reeb were represented by Mason Owen.

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