22 Mar Thackeray embarks on £100m high street spending spree
The Thackeray Estate has embarked on a £100m investment drive into high street retail in a counter-cyclical play to take advantage of funds selling off retail assets “indiscriminately”.
Fresh from the sale of the Eastcheap Estate in the City of London to Hong Kong investor LKK Health Products Group for around £45m, the developer is looking to buy retail assets with repositioning opportunities.
It hopes to convert the assets into mixed-use schemes incorporating retail, leisure, offices, hotels and housing.
“We don’t believe it is the end for the high street, but we believe buildings in high streets need to be repurposed,” said Antony Alberti, chief executive of The Thackeray Estate.
He added that the company was looking to buy up high street retail from funds that were selling it off “indiscriminately”.
“All the funds are right-sizing at the moment and shrinking their exposure to retail, and that presents some really good buying opportunities for us because not all of it is failing retail,” he said.
The company is primarily targeting buildings in city centre locations such as Leeds and Cardiff with only short terms remaining on the lease.
It has spent around £40m on assets since the fourth quarter of last year and is under offer on £20m more.
Last year, it acquired 12 buildings on Queen Victoria Street in Reading for £30m with plans to redevelop them into a mixed-use scheme comprising retail, restaurants, offices, a hotel and apartments.
It plans to spend an additional £30m on the redevelopment to create a “retail and dining destination” that acts as a gateway to the town centre from Reading rail station.