US firm completes purchase of Touchwood shopping centre

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US-based real estate investment and asset management firm Ardent has completed the acquisition of Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull from Lendlease.

Ardent has appointed Sovereign Centros as asset manager and Cushman & Wakefield and Knight Frank as joint leasing agents.

The company said it plans to enhance the offering at Touchwood, encompassing 650,000 sq ft of retail, restaurant, and leisure space, through a new asset management initiative it is calling ‘Project Atlanta’.

Sovereign Centros will work alongside Cushman & Wakefield and Knight Frank to drive a raft of initiatives focused on attracting the latest retail and leisure brands to the centre.

Touchwood is backed by Ardent’s Strategic Fund I and is the investor’s second acquisition since launching its UK arm in January, following quickly on its purchase of 1.4 million sq ft of industrial space from M7 Real Estate in March.

Matt Shulman, CEO at The Ardent Companies, said: “Touchwood is an exceptional shopping centre and completing the acquisition marks a new milestone for our UK investment platform, which we are excited to grow further in alignment with our strategies and objectives in the US.”

Andrew Hilston, managing director at Ardent UK, said: ”Touchwood’s exceptional location and strong tenant line-up were important factors in our decision to invest – underpinned by its emergence as the only John Lewis anchored centre in the region. Solihull is poised for growth as a key commercial location within the West Midlands and we have already received numerous competitive approaches for space at the centre from potential occupiers across retail, leisure and hospitality.”