BRITISH LAND AGREES PURCHASE OF HEREFORD SHOPPING CENTER PROJECT
(The following press release from British Land was received by e-mail. It was not confirmed by the sender.)
British Land Signs £90m Hereford Retail Development Funding
British Land has signed a £90 million forward funding agreement to enable the development of the 310,000 sq ft Old Market scheme in Hereford city centre. The agreement with Stanhope is one of the only significant UK retail forward fundings to take place over the last five years and represents a yield on cost of between 6.75 and 7%.
Work will start on site imminently and British Land will own the scheme outright on completion in spring 2014.
The open air scheme, on the site of Hereford's former cattle market, will comprise 22 retail units, seven restaurants and a six-screen cinema. More than 50% of the space has already been pre-let. Debenhams will anchor the scheme with a three-storey, 84,000 sq ft department store. Waitrose has also taken 22,000 sq ft of space and Odeon has signed for the cinema. Next, TK Maxx and Frankie & Benny's have also committed to the scheme.
Richard Wise, Head of Retail Development for British Land, said: "We believe retail development adds significant incremental value and are replenishing our pipeline to build growth and opportunity by assembling an exceptional, diversified portfolio of dominant assets. We are one of a very small group that has the ability, experience, financial strength and scale and strategy to capitalise on future demand for the right space."
British Land's retail development portfolio includes the new build Whiteley Shopping Centre in Hampshire which opens in spring 2013, the extension and refurbishment of Surrey Quays Shopping Centre in Rotherhithe and extensions at Fort Kinnaird in Edinburgh, Broughton Shopping Park in Chester and Glasgow Fort Shopping Park. British Land and USS are also appraising opportunities to extend and enhance Eden Walk Shopping Centre in Kingston. ENDS
Enquiries: Investor Relations Sally Jones, British Land 020 7467 2942 Media Jackie Whitaker, British Land 020 7467 3449 Emma Hammond, FTI Consulting 020 7269 9347 Pip Wood, British Land 020 7467 2942 Gordon Simpson, Finsbury Group 020 7251 3801
Notes to Editors About British Land British Land is one of Europe's largest Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) with total assets, owned or managed, of £15.8 billion (British Land share £10.3 billion), as valued at 31 March 2012. Through our property and finance expertise we attract experienced partners to create properties and environments which are home to over 1,000 different organisations and visited by over 300 million people each year. Our property portfolio is focused on prime retail locations and Central London offices which attract high quality occupiers committed to long leases. Our occupancy rate of 98.1% and average lease length to first break of 11.3 years are among the highest of the major UK REITs.
Retail assets account for 61% of our portfolio with around 27 million sq ft of retail space across 89 retail parks, 97 superstores, 12 shopping centres and 10 department stores. The retail portfolio is modern, flexible and adaptable to a wide range of formats and our active asset management delivers space which is attractive and meets the needs of both retailers and consumers. Over 80% of our retail parks have open A1 consent.
London offices, located in the City and West End, comprise 34% of the portfolio (which will rise to an estimated 40% on completion of current developments). Our 7 million sq ft of high quality office space includes Broadgate, the premier City office campus (50% share) and Regent's Place in the West End. We have committed £1.2 billion to create Central London's largest committed office development programme which will deliver 2.3 million sq ft of high quality space by 2014, including a 700,000 sq ft building at 5 Broadgate, the 610,000 sq ft Leadenhall Building in London's insurance district and a 500,000 sq ft mixed office and residential scheme at Regent's Place in the West End.
Managing our environmental, economic and social impacts is central to the way we do business and deliver value for our shareholders. We assess the issues that matter most to us and our stakeholders on an on-going basis and, where appropriate, adjust our strategic focus to reflect this. For the coming year we have adjusted our priorities to focus on managing our buildings efficiently, supporting communities, developing sustainable buildings and engaging our staff. For each of these priorities we are targeting our efforts and resources at initiatives where we can achieve the biggest impacts.
Further details can be found on the British Land website at www.britishland.com<http://www.britishland.com>.