Town Centre in £4.5m purchase

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A MAJOR property investor and car park operator has bought the freehold interests of three units on an industrial park in Leeds for almost £4.5m.

Town Centre Securities has acquired the units at the Waterside Business Park, a multi-let industrial estate in Stourton, from clients of CBRE Investors.

It is the first acquisition in the industrial property sector by Town Centre Securities for a number of years.

The move comes as the company announced that Morrisons, its anchor tenant at the Merrion Centre in Leeds, is planning to expand the store by adding 10,000 sq ft which will allow for a change of layout.

And the company has also revealed it has contracted pre-construction services at Merrion House, which will mark the initial works ahead of the complete refurbishment and extension of the building for Leeds City Council.

The three units at the Waterside Business Park were purchased for £4.48m, reflecting an initial yield of 7.2 per cent. Tenants include SW Group Logistics, European Stock Solutions, and Daniels Chilled Foods.

The units are detached industrial warehouse buildings totalling 77,400 sq ft.

Town Centre Securities says the industrial estate is a prime industrial and distribution area, with good access to the motorway network.

Chairman and chief executive Edward Ziff said: “We are delighted to have acquired three high quality units at Waterside Business Park.

“This acquisition, our first in the industrial sector for a number of years, is a logical and complementary diversification of our existing portfolio.

“The site is in a strategic position, let to high-quality tenants with excellent access to key routes.”

Town Centre Securities worked with sector specialists Gent Visick on the acquisition. Garry Howes, investment director at Gent Visick, said: “This is a strategic acquisition for our client and confirms the strength and depth of demand for fundamentally prime stock in the industrial investment market.”

Meanwhile, Morrisons is looking to grow its base at the Merrion Centre, utilising the former Peacocks site next to its own.

Morrisons recently renewed its lease at the centre until 2040 and is looking to expand significantly.

It has announced a transformation and expansion plan that increases the size of the site by 10,000 sq ft, absorbing the former Peacocks unit, and the multi-million pound investment will allow a change of layout and add a number of new ranges.

Work is expected to begin immediately and is scheduled to be completed by late summer this year. Mr Ziff said: “We have been working closely with Morrisons on its lease renewal and expansion plans at the Merrion Centre.

“I am delighted that they have chosen to invest in the store which will benefit shoppers and complement our continuing investment in the Merrion Centre.”

Town Centre Securities said it has also contracted the pre-construction services at Merrion House.

The move follows Leeds City Council agreeing a 25-year lease for about 170,000 sq ft of new space.

The company is looking to totally refurbish and extend the property, which will become one of the council’s key buildings, creating a central base for all its main services.

Mr Ziff said: “We are making strong headway with our refurbishment and extension plans at Merrion House.”