Hammerson Plans Bullring Expansion but Drops Sevenstone Scheme

Posted on 30 July, 2013 by Neil Bird

Commercial property group Hammerson is considering expanding the Bullring only two months after increasing its stake in the Birmingham shopping centre.

The details are yet to be decided but the group has confirmed that it is considering several options to ensure that it continues to outperform in the coming years.

Meanwhile Hammerson has finally withdrawn from the £600 million Sevenstone development in Sheffield a week after the delayed start of the scheme was criticised by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

In May Hammerson increased its stake in the Bullring, in a joint venture with the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, believed to be worth around £300 million. The acquisition underlined the group’s strategy of investing in prime retail property.

Now they hope to add additional space to the centre which already attracts 40 million shoppers a year and is 99 per cent let. The options Hammerson is considering are thought to include a cinema and additional catering outlets.

The announcement is further good news for Birmingham where the New Street Station Gateway scheme is currently underway and plans for a major revamp of the Mailbox are at an advanced stage.

In contrast Hammerson has left Sheffield Council disappointed after pulling out of the Sevenstone retail development, saying it could not commit to a start date. The council has not lost any money due to Hammerson’s decision and is certain the scheme is still viable.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, the cabinet member for business, skills and development, said they hope to find a new development partner “in the shortest time possible.”

“We have the finance available, the land is secured under a compulsory purchase order, utilities have been moved in readiness and the old fire station on Wellington Street has been demolished to make way for a new John Lewis.

“We are confident a new developer will take the project on,” he said.

Elsewhere, Hammerson has submitted a detailed planning application for Victoria Place Leeds and outline plans for a development in Croydon.

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