London and South East residential repurposing specialist Lochailort has teamed up with retail specialist RivingtonHark to buy the Kennet Shopping Centre in Newbury.
The scheme comprises 250,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space spread over more than five acres and has been bought for circa £10 million.
The asset strategically sits between the new Grainger Market Street development by the Station and town centre. It also houses the main town centre multi-storey car park with over 400 spaces.
It is home to a new seven-screen cinema let to Vue along with adjacent restaurants. Other tenants include Costa Coffee, Laura Ashley , Pizza Express and F Hinds.
RivingtonHark has confirmed its involvement in the purchase. It said: “The asset offers significant scope for rejuvenation working with the occupiers and other stakeholders to bring this to fruition.”
It added that it has been appointed to use its retail expertise to “improve the service offering and re-vitalise the prime location in Newbury town centre”.
RivingtonHark director Mark Williams said: “We are delighted to be working with our partners on this project as well as with the wider stakeholders in the town. There is a lot to do, but believe significant improvements can be made.”
HIG and lender Hermes formally brought to market via consensual sale the Kennet Centre mall in the heart of Newbury as a major mixed-use redevelopment opportunity in June 2019 in a further example of how town-centre shopping centres are being repurposed with the support of local authorities in the face of the challenges facing retail.
HIG and Hermes appointed CBRE to market the centre as offering significant redevelopment potential for a variety of uses including residential. CBRE reported then that West Berkshire was fully supportive of the redevelopment of the centre, with Newbury town centre the main focus for development in the district.
The principle of retail, leisure, residential, office and hotel are acceptable on the site as per the council’s 2016 Retail Study. The council’s town plan for 2019-2036 also recognises the town is largely saturated in terms of retail and there needs to be a focus on maintaining a mix of national multiples and local independents.
The 415-space multi-storey car park is let on a long lease to West Berkshire council.
CBRE acted for Hermes and HIG.