Trinity Leeds: Owner to replace unused retail space with food, drink and leisure

The owner of a Yorkshire shopping centre has launched a major investment drive across its UK sites to replace unused retail space with food, drink and leisure.

Landsec, which owns city centre retail destination Trinity Leeds, said it plans to build on the success of its Trinity Kitchen food court, repurposing under-used retail space and creating a 70,000 sq ft ‘multi-dimensional hospitality destination’, with food and leisure at its heart.

Bruce Findlay, managing director of retail at Landsec, inset, said:

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“We’re focusing our strategic investment on where we can drive growth and deliver attractive returns.

Bruce Findlay. managing director retail at Landsec.Bruce Findlay. managing director retail at Landsec.
Bruce Findlay. managing director retail at Landsec.

"Our prime, catchment-dominant retail destinations have recovered strongly since covid and, through targeted investment, we’re ensuring they will remain in demand in the future for consumers and brands alike.

"We’re confident that best-in-class retail property can deliver high single digit to low double digit total returns in the current macro-economic environment.”

The announcement comes after Landsec revealed last month that Zara will open its newest flagship store at Trinity Leeds.

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The fashion brand will upsize and relocate into the centre’s former Topshop store from its current location on Briggate. The new 46,000 sq ft store will feature Zara’s Woman, Man, and Kids collections.

Elsewhere, Landsec plans to invest £45m in a transformation plan for Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth with further plans for St David’s in Cardiff.

The plans were unveiled at a retail-focused Capital Markets Day at Gunwharf Quays yesterday.

The investment in Gunwharf Quays is expected to increase turnover at the site by more than a third over the next five years.

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At St David’s, Landsec intends to remove 160,000 sq ft of vacant retail, previously a former Debenhams store, as well as create a new city square and introduce 30,000 sq ft of new food and drink and leisure offerings in a bid to increase the time consumers spend at the destination.

Landsec, which also owns out-of-town shopping centre, White Rose, in Leeds, posted a £622m pre-tax loss for the year ending 31 March 2023 – down from the profit of £875m made in 2022.

The company said that yields were affected by a decline in the value of its portfolio which fell by £848m.

In a statement accompanying its full-year results, Landsec chief executive Mark Allan said he expected rental market growth to continue. “Last year saw the most striking difference in performance between occupational markets and investment markets that I can remember, he said.

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He added: “In investment markets, rapidly rising interest rates led to a sharp slowdown in transaction activity and falling asset values as valuation yields rose, whereas from a customer perspective, strong demand for Landsec’s best-in-class space drove consistently strong leasing, rising occupancy levels and growing rents across all parts of our portfolio.”