£150m deal for regional shopping centre sparks expansion hopes

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A YORKSHIRE shopping centre is set for expansion after gaining new owners, writes Deputy Business Editor Greg Wright.

Ares Management, together with Sovereign Land and Shepherd Construction, yesterday announced the sale of the Trinity Walk Shopping Centre, in Wakefield, to Orion European Real Estate Fund IV, which is sponsored by Orion Capital Managers.

The price was not 
disclosed, but reports indicated that the 550,000-sq-ft centre 
had been acquired for around £150m.

A spokesman for Orion said yesterday: “Since purchasing Trinity Walk in 2009, Ares Management, Sovereign Land and Shepherd Construction, have completed the partially built shopping centre and created the popular retail destination it is today.

“Trinity Walk opened in May 2011, as one of only three new shopping centres in the UK that year, with more than 90 per cent of the floor space pre- let.

“The centre is anchored by a Debenhams department store, a Sainsbury’s superstore, and more than 50 shops including top brands such as Next, H&M, 
Asda Living, Argos and New Look.”

Wilson Lamont, a partner of Ares Management, said: “Since acquiring Trinity Walk during the depths of the recession, we are delighted to have completed its construction and created a highly successful, dominant retail destination with market-leading tenants that attracts well over 10m shoppers a year.”

Aref Lahham, the managing director of Orion Capital 
Managers, said: “We look forward to progressing the expansion plans that have already been identified by Ares and Sovereign Land.”

Construction work on Trinity Walk started in 2007 but was halted in early 2009 when Trinity Walk Wakefield went into 
administration following the withdrawal of funding by 
Anglo Irish Bank.

The centre remained half-built for months but work resumed after a replacement consortium came to the rescue.

Many commercial property schemes were mothballed or abandoned during the recession, as developers struggled to obtain funding.

Investor confidence has started to return as the UK heads towards a sustainable recovery.

CBRE acted for Ares Management while Savills acted for Orion Capital Managers in connection with the sale. Orion Capital Managers is a European real estate investment firm formed in 1999.

It is involved in commercial real estate investment management on behalf of major investors from around the world.

Orion has offices in London, Madrid, Milan and Paris.

Orion is wholly owned by its founding partners Aref Lahham, Van Stults, and Bruce Bossom.