Leicester's Haymarket Centre becomes council-owned
Just how important shopping centres are to inner-cities is reinforced with news that a second UK council has stepped in to become owner/landlord of its key retail and social destination.
Leicester City Council has paid £9.9m for the 250,000 sq ft Haymarket Centre, securing a deal before the property went to market, according to East Midlands News.
The centre was previously owned by Netherlands-based ING Group, and was bought for £77.5 million in 2004.
The purchase comes just two months after Burnley Council paid £20.7 million to buy its Charter Walk Shopping Centre, albeit after the £25.6 million price tag for the up-for-sale location failed to attract bids from independent buyers.
Leicester City Council said the Haymarket Centre purchase, which is home to near 50 retailers including Primark, Matalan and TKMaxx, "will be a major addition to the council’s property portfolio”.
Already a major tenant at the Haymarket Centre site, paying rent for the Haymarket car park, Haymarket Theatre and Haymarket Health, it said savings from rent payments and the income generated from rent paid by other tenants “will give the council an income to continue to support critical services”.
Leicester City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said: “The Haymarket Centre is a significant and important addition to our holdings. It also fits in with our wider regeneration of this area. [It] will also give us the opportunity to have a positive impact on the city centre and the many businesses and jobs it provides.”
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