Wednesday, May 11, 2016

News: Retailers sign up for £36m Rotherham development


Retailers and funders have shown confidence in proposals for Cortonwood Shopping Park, with deals signed so that construction can begin on the Rotherham retail development that is set to create over 200 jobs.

Outfit, H&M, New Look, River Island, Marks and Spencer Simply Food, Clark's, JD Sports, Wilkos, Poundland and Frankie & Benny's have all signed up to take units at the new retail development at Cortonwood.

Plans for a 98,000 sq ft development, to be known as Cortonwood Shopping Park, were only passed on appeal at a public inquiry in 2013 after earlier being refused by Rotherham Council.

Developer Helical Retail has been working on an extension to the existing Cortonwood Retail Park and the scheme would see a current distribution warehouse demolished to make way for ten large units. Helical Bar plc is a property investment and development company and is working with partners, Oswin Developments Limited on the scheme.


A funding deal has now been secured that means that construction can get underway. Helical Retail has funded the development to clients of Aberdeen Asset Management for £36.3m, showing the buyer a yield of c.5.5%.

Aberdeen Asset Management PLC is a global investment management group, managing assets for institutional and retail clients from offices around the world.

Over 95% of the scheme was pre-let "off plan" with work due to start this week with completion due in June 2017.

The developers believe that the new retail park will create between 279 and 372 jobs (equivalent to 186 full time jobs).

Jonathan Cox, managing director of Helical Retail, said: "This is one of only a very few funding deals in the market at present. The pre-lettings of ten out of the proposed 11 units to some of the strongest fashion retailers in this sector will arguably create one of the best shopping parks available in recent times."


Robert Cass, head of UK property transactions at Aberdeen Asset Management, said: "We are delighted to be funding this opportunity with Helical Retail who have a strong track record in delivering high quality schemes. The retailer line up attracted is testament to their confidence in the scheme and will build on the already very successful retail destination at Cortonwood."

Edgerley Simpson Howe acted for Helical Retail on both the lettings and funding. Forsters acted on behalf of a fund managed by Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM).

Already home to the likes of Morrisons, Next, Argos, Asda Living, Boots and B&Q, Cortonwood Retail Park was developed by St Paul's Developments,totally transforming the site of the former Cortonwood Colliery, where the 1984 miners' strike began. It was sold to The Hercules Unit Trust for £46.5m in 2003. In 2009 the trust sold the long leasehold interest in the the park to the Kirkham Family Trust for an estimated price of £41.85m.

Helical Bar website

Images: Edgerley Simpson Howe


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