Columbia Threadneedle buys Parkgate Shopping Park in UK

Columbia Threadneedle Real Estate has acquired Parkgate Shopping Park in Rotherham, the real estate investment and asset management arm of Columbia Threadneedle Investments said yesterday, in another sign that the retail sector is coming back to life.

Parkgate Shopping Park in Rotherham

“We are delighted to add Parkgate to our extensive retail warehouse portfolio that now totals some 10 million square feet”, said a spokesperson for Columbia Threadneedle RE. “By utilising our existing strong retailer relationships, we see real opportunity to maximise Parkgate’s potential both for retail and restaurant operators and customers, taking its place as a leading shopping and leisure destination befitting of its scale and regional dominance.”

The 406,000 sq ft asset, described as the UK’s second largest retail park, has 45 retail units on a 40.6-acre site with around 2,250 free parking spaces. Anchor tenants at the scheme include Primark, Currys, Next, Poundland, Wren, and Matalan, as well as an adjacent Morrisons supermarket.

Parkgate Shopping Park attracts around 10 million visitors a year and benefits from a catchment population of 440,000 people within a 20-minute drive, capturing a third of all retail spend within the area.

The park is listed as being 97% let. Shopping Park is set to benefit from the arrival of a new 45,000 sq ft owner-occupied Frasers Store in Q1 and the completion of the spine road extension to link it to the A6123 in May.

Columbia Threadneedle has not disclosed the purchase price. However, the shopping park was put on sale last year by its owners who were seeking offers in excess of £80 million for the freehold interest in the property.

The guide price was less than half of the £175 million price BMO Real Estate Partners has paid to acquire the asset in 2015. Before that, in 2005, The Hercules Unit Trust, advised by British Land and managed by Schroders, had acquired Parkgate in a £260m deal from developers, the Stadium Group.