NEWRIVER has announced the acquisition of Grays Shopping Centre for £20.2 million. The acquisition comprises a community shopping centre with 177,300 sq ft of retail space and a 32,000 sq ft office building with permitted development rights for residential conversion, on a 4.7 acre site located in the centre of Grays.
The acquisition price represents an attractive net initial yield of 9.4% on the shopping centre element, and a capital value across the whole site of just £40 per sq ft.
NewRiver has already identified a number of value creating opportunities at the asset, to meet demand for a budget hotel, budget gym and discount food retailer, and to deliver up to 300 much-needed residential units to support the town’s growing population. These plans are in line with the Grays town centre framework, produced by Thurrock Council, and NewRiver will work closely with them in redeveloping the site, while continuing to receive an attractive income return throughout the planning stage.
Allan Lockhart, Chief Executive commented: “Grays Shopping Centre is a community asset with excellent asset management and development potential, acquired at a very attractive entry price, which is well below previously traded values and the residential residual value of the asset.
The site is central to ambitious town centre redevelopment plans put forward by the local authority and we look forward to working closely with them to deliver the right mix of residential, retail and leisure for the local community, while providing attractive and sustainable returns for our shareholders. This strategic acquisition means that we have invested over £150 million so far in 2018 across our core sectors of community shopping centres, retail parks and community pubs, at an attractive blended initial yield of 12%, demonstrating our disciplined approach to capital allocation.”
Thurrock Council has expressed delight at the news. Cllr Mark Coxshall, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, said: “The investment of Grays Shopping Centre by NewRiver is a vote of confidence for the town centre.
The Grays Master Plan was agreed by Cabinet on Wednesday 8 November 2017 and the council looks forward to working with the new owners and other stakeholders to deliver an exciting and ambitious future for Grays.”