Largest covered shopping centre in Liverpool
Our European Real Estate team identified St Johns as an asset with potential for substantial value-enhancement through an extensive improvement and leasing programme to attract new, high-profile retailers while enhancing the appearance and attraction of the centre for retailers and shoppers alike. It was acquired for £80m in 2012.
St Johns was built in 1969 and is the largest covered shopping centre in Liverpool. It comprises 38,000 sqm of lettable floor area over two floors with 100 retail outlets, a market hall, media wall, 625-space car park and a 149-room hotel leased to Holiday Inn.
It is situated in the heart of Liverpool’s city centre, the fifth largest retail market in the UK, and is adjacent to the city’s prime high street and major public transport terminals including Lime Street Station. It dominates Liverpool’s convenience and value shopping and has an annual footfall of c.14m.
Multiple opportunities were identified for creating real value by increasing gross revenues, reducing operating costs and improving the centre’s environment and fabric.
St Johns offers us the opportunity to contribute to the wider regeneration of Liverpool and we are working pro-actively with local stakeholders, in particular Liverpool City Council, which has allowed us to implement significant improvements to St Johns within 18 months of its purchase.
Since the acquisition we have invested over £6.5m in refurbishing the main entrance and foodcourt, including introducing new operators and expanding customer choice, upgrading the media wall facing Lime Street Station and making improvements to the operation of the car park for the benefit of its users. We have also upgraded the internal malls.
These initiatives have prompted Matalan, a major UK fashion retailer with over 200 stores nationwide, to locate a flagship store in St Johns, and encouraged other retailers to invest in refits of their units.
Our work at St Johns has been conducted in partnership with the local community and is contributing to the improvement of the city’s physical and economic regeneration. Most noticeably, the UK’s first privately-funded city centre police station is now located in St Johns. This award-winning initiative gives Merseyside Police officers a presence in the community, which has had a substantial improvement in people's perception of personal safety.
Chief Executive of Liverpool Business Improvement District