InfraRed acquires St Georges Shopping Centre, Preston from Aviva

4 April 2019 Investments
InfraRed Capital Partners Limited (“InfraRed”), on behalf of its Active Fund III, has exchanged contracts to acquire St Georges Shopping Centre, Preston, Lancashire from Aviva (“Aviva”).

St Georges is located in the centre of Preston, where it forms the core of the city’s commercial and retail hub fronting Fishergate, the city’s main high street and lying equidistant between the bus and rail stations.  The 10m pa footfall centre comprises over 280,000 sqft of retail space with more than 100 shop units and is accompanied by one of the city’s main car parks. Tenants include well-known brands such as M&S, River Island, H&M, New Look, WHSmith, The Body Shop, Poundland and Holland & Barratt.

Preston is the administrative capital of Lancashire with a primary catchment population of 360,000.  The city is the star performer within the Lancashire economy and demonstrates growth well above national and regional trends.  It is served by excellent road and rail connections, a world class university housing 38,000 students and staff, and is supported by proactive civic leadership which is committed to realising a number of other significant development opportunities in and around the city.

InfraRed is a long-standing investor in UK shopping centres having managed three specialist shopping centre funds between 1998 and 2006. In 2011 it re-entered the UK shopping centre market after an absence of five years, and has since acquired seven in-town shopping centres totalling over 2.7m sqft of retail space, occupied by more than 600 tenants, for a total consideration of c.£450m.  These are The Galleries in Bristol, Castle Mall in Norwich, St Johns and Clayton Square in Liverpool, Eastgate in Basildon, Mill Gate in Bury and now St Georges. InfraRed invests heavily in its assets post acquisition.

Chris Huxtable, Head of European Real Estate at InfraRed Capital Partners, commented:

“We are delighted to be adding St. Georges to our portfolio, the seventh centre we have acquired since re-entering the shopping centre market in 2011 and the third for our Active Fund III.  St Georges is the dominant centre in the city of Preston, a Top 50 UK retail destination, where it attracts both top quality retailers and high annual footfall. We will be investing further in the centre, helping to make it an attractive place to shop, work and do business which will create the opportunity to bring new retailers to the heart of the city, benefitting tenants, customers and the city centre as a whole.”

InfraRed has appointed the Hark Group as asset managers and Munroe K Asset Management as property managers. Barker Proudlove, Cushman & Wakefield and Olswang provided occupier market advice, occupier market advice and real estate advisory services, and legal services to InfraRed respectively.  Lunson Mitchenall provided real estate advisory services to Aviva.

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