Thanks to the widespread economic recovery and ensuing demand for space by retailers, many destinations which saw vacancy rates skyrocket during the recession are now enjoying a return to prosperity which has allowed owners to achieve strong sales prices.
This will hopefully be the case for the New Hall Hey Retail Park in Rawtenstall, which this week has been placed on the market by owner the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).
RBS gained the site following the administration of previous owner Hurstwood Developments Ltd, and following the exit by major brands Homebase and Argos in 2007 the retail park lay empty for almost eight years.
However, following a number of asset management initiatives undertaken by RBS in recent months, three of the site’s four retail units are preparing for occupation, with M&S Simply Food, TK Maxx and Pets at Home due to move in towards the end of this year.
In addition, RBS was able to secure an enhanced planning permission for food retailing and for an 82,000 square foot leisure development on the adjacent site which is also being marketed. The potential of this offering has seen a spike in demand for the remaining vacant unit, and has allowed RBS the opportunity to place the retail park on the market confident of achieving a good price – perhaps even as much as £10 million.
Director at RBS Real Estate Advisory, Neville Paterson, believes that the park and adjacent land will attract the attention of developers and investors keen to capitalise upon the area’s large consumer base.
He says; “RBS has undertaken a significant amount of asset management which has focused on key tenant initiatives to create a new prime retailing destination in a highly affluent area.
“The properties offer investors a core asset with the strong income profile of a blue chip tenant base, as well as the great potential to enhance value and income further through letting opportunities and development of the remaining land.”
RBS has already appointed agents from Manchester based Metis Real Estate Advisors and CursonSowerby Partners LLP to market the 41,163 square foot scheme and manage sales enquiries going forward. They expect a strong level of interest in this well-located site, particularly as the park presently generates an annual rental income of £606,250.
As one of the major commercial victims of the financial crisis and ensuing recession, the rumour that Poundland may soon take up the remaining vacant unit and bring New Hall Hey Retail Park back to prosperity.
However, in order to achieve the site’s full potential, a buyer willing to invest in the adjacent land and enter into the construction process for a desirable leisure development will first have to come forward.
Do you think the leisure development would be necessary in order to attract a high footfall level, or will the strong tenant mix at the retail park be enough to ensure it succeeds?