Hammerson agrees Victoria Quarter purchase; Hansteen in Essex buy

Hammerson has exchanged contracts to acquire the Victoria Quarter in Leeds for £136m to complement its plans for the first phase of the Eastgate Quarters scheme. This development is next to the Victoria Quarter, and the company says this purchase will enable “a co-ordinated approach to its tenant strategy and marketing in Leeds”.

The purchase from Kennedy Wilson on behalf of Bank of Ireland Private Banking comprises 19,5000 sq m of retail space including more than 70 shops and two cafes. It is anchored by Harvey Nichols.

Hammerson says the listed arcades provide “a unique retail environment” in two key shopping streets. It says Victoria Quarter has continued to experience strong demand from designer retailers and is 100% let. Passing rent is currently £7.2m and the initial yield on the acquisition, after costs, is 5.2%, the company says.

“Leeds has an affluent population and a prominent position as the principal shopping destination in Yorkshire. There is a significant opportunity to capture growing consumer demand throughout the region by bringing exciting new brands to the city,” Hammerson said. The company is aiming to submit a detailed planning application for Eastgate Quarters in spring 2013 with work due to start on site in 2014 and the first phase complete in 2016.

Hammerson was advised on the transaction by DTZ, Strutt & Parker and Nabarro. Kennedy Wilson was advised by CBRE and Trowers & Hamlins.

Meanwhile, industrial REIT Hansteen Holdings has acquired Horndon Industrial Park in Essex from the joint administrators of Easter Investments Three Ltd.

The 26-acre Horndon Industrial Park is a multi-let estate comprising 586,848 sq ft of older industrial units and yard space, 21,344 sq ft of modern industrial units, and 19,219 sq ft of office space. It is currently let to 43 tenants and has a vacancy rate of 32,94%. Horndon Industrial Park is located directly opposite West Horndon Railway Station, 29 minutes from London Fenchurch Street by train and 4 miles from Junction 29 of the M25.

Morgan Jones of Hansteen said the high yield and vacancy rate at the industrial park, combined with its excellent location, would provide “plenty of opportunity to build value through active asset management”.