Northern Irish group buys freehold of Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre

Northern Irish family-owned Martin Property Group has acquired the freehold of Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre for an undisclosed sum.

The deal is with Grosvenor Eaton Estate.

The 211,845 sq ft shopping centre on Eastgate Street occupies prime real estate in Chester city centre and was developed by Grosvenor in the 1960s.

Grosvenor granted a 150-year head lease of the centre in 1996, which remains in place and is currently vested with the receivers of HIG Chester Property Sarl.

The acquisition includes an integral 400-space multi-storey car park on Newgate Street and the new 94-bedroom Jurys Inn Hotel Leonardo on Pepper Street, which opened in November 2021.

Gary Martin, Martin Property Group director, said: “The Grosvenor Shopping Centre is a very important asset within Chester, and we are delighted to take on its stewardship, a responsibility which we take very seriously.

“As a family business we share similar values with Grosvenor, which has been an important part of this acquisition for all parties.

“As custodian of this asset, we look forward to creating strong working relationships with key stakeholders, including Cheshire West and Chester Council, as we work together to ensure the future success of the centre.”

This deal follows Martin Property Group’s acquisition of Real Estate Investments Nederland BV and its portfolio of 1.2 million sq ft of retail space across six UK shopping centres and student accommodation, earlier this month.

The transaction included Clarendon Shopping Centre in Hyde and Exchange Shopping Centre in Rochdale.

A spokesperson for Grosvenor’s Eaton Estate said: “With the continued challenges facing the high street, and as Grosvenor has not owned or managed the shopping centre business since the 150-year head lease was granted in 1996, we believe that selling the freehold of the site to the Martin Property Group, which has established a reputation for sympathetically revitalising shopping centres across the UK and Ireland, provides the best opportunity to develop its offering and enhance the retail and leisure experience in the heart of the city.”

Steven Lewis of Lewis & Partners acted on behalf of Martin Property Group alongside Mark Kingsley who is chief legal counsel to the Martin Property Group.

Brabners and Metis Real Estate Advisors acted for Grosvenor.