Developer secures £4.7m to acquire shopping centre

A Yorkshire-based property entrepreneur has further boosted his growing portfolio across the north of England after securing £4.7m funding to purchase and develop Prospect Shopping Centre, in Hull.

Zahid Iqbal has a track-record of acquiring and transforming shopping centres across the region and is hoping to emulate that success by using a facility provided by Reward Finance Group to purchase the 5.1 acre retail site in Hull city centre.

Iqbal, who runs Z&F Properties and also owns The Ridings Shopping Centre in Wakefield, Packhorse Shopping Centre in Huddersfield and Batley Plaza, is now looking to reinvigorate the Prospect Shopping Centre.

It houses major retailers such as Greggs and Specsavers and attracts about six million shoppers each year.

The deal is one of the highest single lends provided by alternative finance lender Reward.

Iqbal said: “This latest acquisition of the Prospect Shopping Centre underlies our commitment to investing in Hull and transforming one of its most prominent shopping centres into the primary retail destination for people locally.

“Despite huge competition from out-of-town retail parks, we firmly believe that shopping inside town and city centres across Yorkshire and the Humber is still in huge demand and the lifeblood of many local economies.

“We turned to Reward as we needed a lender that has extensive property finance expertise and was able to provide a fast and flexible funding solution that helped make an acquisition of this size as seamless as possible.

“We’ve established a clear vision for what we want to do with the centre and are looking forward to sharing our exciting future plans with new and existing retail tenants and the millions of visitors who shop here each year.”

Dave Jones, Reward’s founding director, added: “Zahid is one of the most highly respected entrepreneurs and property developers in the region and has a phenomenal track record in acquiring and transforming a growing portfolio of shopping centres.

“Being able to help finance a property transaction of this magnitude also demonstrates our experience in delivering solutions which are able to fund purchases outright, leverage a property asset to generate working capital or simply bridge a sale.

“It can also be a very small world as I used to be Zahid’s bank manager over 30 years ago during my early career at Yorkshire Bank.

“I’ve stayed in touch ever since and having already assisted in his purchase of the Ridings at Wakefield am happy that Reward is able to assist again in another major acquisition.”

Marie Pugh and Amer Ali on the Banking and Finance team at Clarion advised Reward Finance on the deal.

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