£33m price tag as flagship mixed use development goes on the market

X The Business Desk

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St Johns Centre, one of the largest mixed-use developments in Leeds, has been placed on the market for £33m.

The landmark 2.5 acre site in Leeds city centre, which includes retail, office and leisure facilities, is currently owned by the Cromwell Property Group.

Cromwell has appointed the Leeds office of global property consultancy Knight Frank to market the scheme.

St Johns, which was bought by Cromwell in 2015, features 84,705 sq ft of offices on the upper floors, most of which is occupied by bookmakers William Hill.

The betting giant has just signed a new ten-year lease and has about 1,000 employees in Leeds, including technology, retail support, trading, marketing and creative brand teams. Other office occupiers include the NSPCC.

The flagship site is also home to a multi-storey car park operated by QPark on a 40-year index-linked lease.

Leisure tenants include McDonalds, which made its debut in Leeds in the newly opened centre in 1986. In total, there are 26 retail and leisure units in the building, including the Post Office.

Graham Foxton, investment partner with Knight Frank in Leeds, explained: “The immediate vicinity of St Johns has seen a significant amount of regeneration in recent years with some 4,000 new student beds opening close by between 2020 and 2022 with more in the pipeline.

“St Johns also offers the opportunity to extend above the existing building, opening up development potential to residential, a hotel and other uses.

“We are very excited about the sale. Cromwell have been a worthy custodian of the scheme over the last six years and whilst St Johns has been a big part of my life and the most of the rest of the population in Leeds given its dominant location in the city centre, I am very keen to see the next stage of its development.

“The Northern Quarter has changed beyond recognition over recent years with the Leeds Direct Arena and the newly constructed private sector student accommodation. The potential development of St John’s will add to the quarter’s renaissance.

“On a more general point, this site is one of the largest mixed-use schemes to come forward in Leeds in recent months and several of these have been attracting strong interest.

“It is fair to say that ringing St John’s to the market demonstrates a healthy and well-founded confidence in the current real estate market in Leeds.”

St Johns generates a net rental income of £2.85m a year, reflecting a net initial yield of 8.09%.