Hammerson acquires Grand Central
Hammerson has exchanged contracts with Birmingham City Council to acquire the new Grand Central shopping centre in Birmingham for Â£335 million.
In addition, Hammerson is in advanced discussions with an existing joint venture partner on other assets about entering into a 50:50 joint venture for the future ownership of Grand Central.
Opened in September 2015, the 435,000 square foot shopping centre is anchored by a 250,000 square foot John Lewis department store. It was developed by Network Rail and Birmingham City Council as part of the £750 million New Street Station regeneration project.
The centre is also home to 40 premium stores including Monsoon, Fat Face, Hobbs, The White Company, Cath Kidston, Joules, Kiehls, Jo Malone, L'Occitane and MAC.
David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, said: "The acquisition of Grand Central, a highly-prized trophy asset in the UK's second city, is fully aligned with Hammerson's strategy of owning top-performing retail destinations in prime locations, as demonstrated by our recent transactions in Ireland and growing exposure to European premium outlets.
“By deploying our expertise from Bullring, as well as other shopping centres around the UK, Hammerson is well placed to further enhance the consumer offer in Birmingham and achieve high returns through skilful management of Grand Central. We are strong supporters of the future of Birmingham and this acquisition provides us with additional exposure to the city's fast growing economy."
Hammerson has acquired a 150 year headlease on the centre and the freeholder is Network Rail. As part of the transaction, Hammerson, has also acquired Ladywood House, a 95,000 square foot vacant office building adjoining Grand Central with a value of £10 million.
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis Partnership, said: "The development of Grand Central is great news for Birmingham and it cements Birmingham's position as a retail destination of choice. Our new shop has enjoyed a wonderful reception in the city, and given Hammerson's proven expertise in managing shopping centres it can only go from strength to strength. I am delighted to see them take on the ownership of Grand Central."
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