Gosforth Shopping Centre back in local hands after £9.3m acquisitionPosted on: 8 November, 2022
A North East real estate firm has brought a leading retail investment back into local hands for the first time in eight years, following an off market deal.
Monument Real Estate, which is based in Newcastle, has led the acquisition of Gosforth Shopping Centre in an off-market transaction, with the backing of a consortium of local private investors.
The £9.3m deal came about following a direct approach by Monument to Custodian REIT which had become landlord of the centre in 2021 when it acquired the whole of Drum REIT. It was previously part of an investment portfolio belonging to local entrepreneur Graham Wylie, who sold it in 2014.
The popular shopping centre, which extends to 74,000 sq. ft. with a car park on the second floor, is prominently positioned off Gosforth’s busy High Street. The scheme’s 18 retail units are all currently occupied, with supermarket Sainsbury’s taking up 33,000 sq. ft, and other tenants include Lloyds Bank, Boots and WHSmith.
Tom Wooldridge, executive director and founder of Monument Real Estate, said: “As the focal point of Gosforth High Street, within one of the most sought-after residential locations in the region, we saw an opportunity to secure the centre and improve its overall appeal given the very strong credentials.
“Being local asset managers, supported by local co-investors, we are well placed to capitalise on the strength of the demographics. We want to develop the brand and appeal of Gosforth Shopping Centre by bringing forward several new initiatives and working with the community to give the centre its own personality and establish points of difference with comparable centres.”
Naylors Gavin Black has been appointed as property manager and Monument will be retained as asset manager for the shopping centre, while Nicola Tiffen and Ben Jackson of the commercial property and corporate teams respectively at Newcastle law firm Hay & Kilner acted on behalf of the purchaser. Property consultancy Gerald Eve and law firm Brodies represented Custodian.
Ben Jackson, corporate associate at Hay & Kilner, says: “Gosforth Shopping Centre is a landmark location in the North East retail sector and it’s great for us to be able to help bring it back into experienced local hands.
“The acquisition expresses great confidence in the future prospects of this prime retail space, as well as in the wider local area, and we look forward to seeing the exciting plans that Monument Real Estate has for its development being put into action.”
In 2021, Monument led the acquisition of Cathedral Square, a mixed-use building in the centre of Newcastle, with the backing of private equity and local investors. Earlier this year, the firm secured consent to create 35 residential flats in the vacant offices at 2 Cathedral Square and is currently working to secure planning consent to alter the design of the current building.
Monument continues to focus on opportunities in the region’s commercial property market. The firm targets assets which require strong asset management initiatives and re-positioning strategies, delivering positive returns for its growing network of private equity funds, institutional and local investors.