US investment firm swoops for 650,000 sq ft Solihull shopping mall

The Ardent Companies, the US-based real estate investment and asset management firm, has bought the Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull from Lendlease Retail Partnership (LLRP), an investment fund managed by real estate investor Lendlease.

Touchwood shopping centre is Solihull’s primary retail pitch, attracting an annual footfall of 13 million. The deal will see Ardent acquire 650,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant and leisure space anchored by the only John Lewis store in region, and includes the popular Crescent Arcade.

Tenants at Touchwood also include well-established brands, such as Apple, H&M, Zara, Next and a Cineworld cinema.

The acquisition, backed by Ardent’s Strategic Fund I, is the investor’s second since launching its London office in January, following its deal to acquire 1.4m sq ft of industrial space from M7 Real Estate in March.

Matt Shulman, CEO at The Ardent Companies, said: “Touchwood is in a particularly strong location and already has an impressive retail and leisure line up. The opportunity to work closely with top brands, Solihull Council and the community at an exciting time for the wider area was an important part of our decision to invest. We’re looking forward to bringing our expertise and experience to the table to continue improving the retail environment at Touchwood.”

Knight Frank acted for Ardent on the transaction, while CBRE acted for Lendlease.