7.4-acre retail centre acquired by property investor

Property and investment company Evolve Estates has acquired a major retail centre in Halifax town centre, marking its sixth acquisition of 2021.

Evolve, which has invested £120m this year in its retail portfolio, has added the Woolshops, a shopping centre anchored by Marks & Spencer, for an undisclosed sum, following a five-way competitive bid.

The 52-unit, open-air scheme is a significant retail scheme in the heart of the town and extends to 7.4 acres, with retail over 236,923 sq ft, plus a two-storey, 310-space car park. The 38 tenants include River Island, Boots, Poundland, Superdrug and Costa Coffee.

Sebastian Macdonald-Hall

Sebastian Macdonald-Hall, director at Evolve Estates, said: “We’re pleased to have acquired The Woolshops as it is the dominant retail asset in Halifax with a footfall of about 5.8 million a year and a robust and reliable income stream, which fits our business plan.

“There are currently two vacant units and we will be using our extensive contacts to actively seek new tenants.

“2021 has been a busy year for us in terms of acquisitions and we continue to actively look for suitable retail portfolios.”

Phil Murphy, asset manager at Evolve Estates, added: “With our proactive asset management plans, we are looking to add even more value to the site by attracting new high street and independent names. I

It is a great opportunity for us and we hope that local shoppers will continue to benefit.”

LCP has been appointed to manage the centre on behalf of Evolve Estates.

Agent for the vendor, LaSalle IM c/o Coal Pension Fund, was Savills, while the agent for Evolve was Bradley Maher at Prime Retail.