Nailsea landlords buy Clevedon town centre in £103m deal

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By Carol_Deacon | Saturday, November 10, 2012, 17:49

Venture capitalists have bought Clevedon town centre in a multi-million pound investment deal.

Property developer and investor Development Securities PLC and the William Pears Group have paid the National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) the staggering sum of £103 million for a portfolio of 39 investment and development assets which include the lower Clevedon shopping centre.

NAMA was established in December 2009 by the Irish Government to address the serious banking sector problems as the result of excessive property lending.

The new owners are also one of the partners who bought Crown Glass Shopping Centre at Nailsea which is currently managed by commercial property landlord Ellandi LLP.

The change of ownership should see some modernisation and refurbishment of The Triangle Shopping Centre, said Ian Thompson, of Thompson Commercial, who has been appointed as a letting agent.

The freehold of Morrisons, Boots, Superdrug and Thomson Travel are all part of the package which includes 12 shops facing Queens Square and Kenn Road, 5,250 sq ft of offices, some of the open space and the supermarket car park.

Mr Thompson said: "This is probably the largest single ownership in Clevedon – certainly in the centre of town."

All the shops were let on purchase but Johnsons dry cleaners has since closed as its lease expired.

Mr Thompson added: "Johnsons is closing shops nationwide so nothing to do with Clevedon.

"I have just put that shop on the market.

"There are also first and second floor offices which are vacant and I am marketing those as well.

"The new owners are looking forward to investing further and enhancing the shopping centre to make it more attractive and successful for retailers and the local residents and the spin off should make the centre of Clevedon more vibrant as a result.

"We are working up ideas at the moment, but no firm plans are yet ready.

"We are really just 'getting our feet under the table' and understanding the opportunities and constraints and hope to be able to announce our initial ideas early in the new year."

Clevedon Town Council chairman Jon Middleton said they found out about the change of ownership at a meeting in Nailsea to discuss car parking charges from representatives of Crown Glass Shopping Centre landlords.

He said: "We understand they are keen to expand Morrisons to increase the floor space but we pointed out to them the difficulty of building over the Blind Yeo river which is in a culvert buried under Queens Square.

"However, whatever they do to the town centre can only make it better – it can't make it worse.

"We need to attract more people into the shopping area.

"However, I think the new owners are reeling a little at the speed the deal went through and are still considering various options."

You can view the complete property list called The Chrome portfolio bought by Development Securities PLC and the William Pears Group by clicking HERE

The UK properties were previously owned by property developer Gerry Gannon, one of NAMA's top 10 most heavily-indebted borrowers

Central London residences account for 65 per cent of the value of the Chrome properties portfolio which includes homes at Victoria, Chelsea and Covent Garden.

The rest is a mix of neighbourhood retail schemes like Tesco convenience stores and further residential, high street retail and commercial assets across more than 300,000sq ft.

Savills Capital Advisors managed the sale on behalf of NAMA, who selected Pears and Development Securities as joint preferred bidders back in February and the deal was completed a fortnight ago.

The partnership will realise the repayment of the loans through the sale of a number of the assets as well as actively repositioning several properties through change of use, refurbishment works and other asset management initiatives.

The Chrome Portfolio generates £6.4m per annum in rental income, comprised of £4.1m from the commercial properties and £2.3m from the residential properties, with more than 75 per cent of the income coming from London and the south east of England and a vacancy rate of 10 per cent.

Pears managing director Jonathan Rose said: "We are delighted to have completed this complex loan transaction secured on a quality portfolio of assets and wish to acknowledge the pro-activity and certainty that NAMA brought to this process.

"We look forward to working with the excellent management team at Development Securities."



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