Praxis goes shopping in Preston and Crewe

LONDON-based property investor Praxis has acquired two significant regional assets for nearly £7m.

The larger of the two deals has seen it buy St John’s Shopping Centre in Preston from Land Securities for £4m, equating to a NIY of 13.5.

St John’s comprises 23 retail units totalling 70,000 sq ft and is located immediately adjacent to the newly Grade II listed Preston Bus Station.

Jack Burgess, investment manager at Praxis, said: “There is a general over supply of retail in Preston but St John’s benefits uniquely from its proximity to the bus station with 50,000 passengers passing through daily.

“Now that the Bus Station is listed, the location is never going away.  The footfall is tremendous and rebased rents make it very affordable for retailers.  Our management team will transform the asset over the next 12 months.”

The addition of St John’s means Praxis now has seven shopping centres in its portfolio.

Meanwhile, in Crewe, the company has acquired the 31,533 sq ft Millennium Gate II grade A office building on Crewe Business Park which is fully let to Air Products.

Praxis bought the building from Knight Frank, acting as LPA Receivers to Kings Properties Ltd for £2.7m, a 14.9% NIY equating to £82 per square foot.

Mr Burgess added: “Millennium Gate II is a grade A building fully let to a blue chip tenant.  At £82 psf, we bought it for less than replacement cost.”