Thursday, 26 June 2014

Land Securities goes shopping at Bluewater

Land Securities has strengthened its stake in the future of Kent after announcing it has acquired a 30 per cent stake in Bluewater from Lend Lease.

The FTSE 100 company has invested £656million in the popular retail destination, which is adjacent to its landholding at Eastern Quarry – the site earmarked for the first in the next generation of Garden Cities. 

For a further £40m, Land Securities has also bought full asset management rights for the 1.8m sq ft shopping centre and its 100 acres of surrounding land.

The company’s involvement in Kent has recently seen it seek permission for the proposed Lodge Hill housing development in Chattenden, near Strood, which was rejected due to the presence of nightingales. It also met with rejection from Maidstone Borough Council for its plans to redevelop Newnham Court at Junction 7 of the M20 as a retail centre involving Waitrose and Debenhams.

As a result of the deal, Lend Lease retains 25 per cent of Bluewater with a further 35 per cent owned by M&G Real Estate and GIC. The remaining ten per cent is held by Hermes and Aberdeen Asset Management.

Bluewater attracts an estimated 27 million visitors a year to its 330 shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and cinema, including the anchor stores of Marks and Spencer, House of Fraser and John Lewis.

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