£94m retail development bought ahead of autumn opening

A CGI of Selly Oak Shopping Park

The £94m retail development in south Birmingham, Selly Oak Shopping Park, has been bought three months before it is scheduled to open.

The 190,000 sq ft scheme is almost completely pre-let to retailers including Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer and JD Sports.

M&G Real Estate, in partnership with West Yorkshire Pension Fund, has bought the site from The Harvest Partnership, which is itself a joint venture between Landsec and Sainsbury’s.

Landsec’s head of retail development Andrew Dudley said: “The scheme has seen strong demand for retail space and will offer a high-quality mix of brands for local consumers. Having de-risked the scheme with a 91% pre-let, this sale enables us to crystallise value on this development.”

Landsec will develop the site and then exit the scheme upon practical completion.

Martin Towns, head of capital solutions at M&G Real Estate, said: “There is an increasing trend in global real estate for large institutional and sovereign wealth investors to partner with established fund management companies through joint ventures and separate accounts.”

The acquisition follows a deal between M&G Real Estate, West Yorkshire Pension Fund and an Asian investor last July to buy a £105m office building in central Manchester.

The development will deliver a major economic boost for south Birmingham in general, offering better retail facilities, improved highways and canal side improvements.

Simon Edwards, alternative investments manager of West Yorkshire Pension Fund, added: “This high quality asset provides a secure income stream for our members in line with the pension funds’ long term objectives and has the added advantage of providing socio-economic advantages to Birmingham and the UK.”