Benson Elliot has expanded its retail portfolio with the acquisition of the Vicarage Field Shopping Centre in Barking, from Northern Ireland-based JV Lagmar. The £35 million off-market purchase represents a net yield of 8.5 per cent.
Vicarage Field is situated on a 5.2 acre site directly opposite Barking Station, which provides commuters with a regular 15 minute train service to the City. The shopping centre comprises 156,000 sq ft of retail space, along with 500 parking spaces.
Vicarage Field is the area’s only covered shopping centre and has an occupier line-up featuring Argos, Vodafone, Poundland, Subway and Holland & Barrett.
Benson Elliot will utilise the retail expertise it has developed through the management of its 1.3 million sq ft retail portfolio to add to and reposition the retail offer at Vicarage Field.
Retail Director, Peter Cornforth, said: “The goal has to be to ensure that Vicarage Field’s retail offer keeps pace with evolving shopping trends, and that changes in local aspirations are reflected on the ground.”
“With ambitious growth plans for 35,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs, the Borough is a great place to invest long-term and, as London moves east, we aim to ensure the town centre takes a leading role in shaping Barking’s future.”
Marc Mogull, Managing Partner of the private equity real estate fund manager, commented: “During the past five years Benson Elliot has established itself as a committed and reliable partner for dynamic local councils across the UK, as they seek to encourage private sector-led regeneration efforts for the benefit of the communities they serve.”
He added that Benson Elliot is a strong believer in the growth and investment potential of East London and that the acquisition of Vicarage Field is a great opportunity to revitalize a key site in Barking town centre.
Councilor Darren Rodwell, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, welcomed the sale, saying that Benson Elliot’s investment is a clear sign of the council’s progress.