ASI selling shopping mall at loss as retail market softens
On the market: Monument Mall, Newcastle
Aberdeen Standard Investments is selling a prime city centre shopping mall at a big loss in a move seen as a sign of further weakening of the retail sector.
The Edinburgh-based institution has put the Monument Mall in Newcastle up for sale with a £48m price tag.
The 200,000 sq ft mall was acquired five years ago from Hammerson for £75m by ASI’s Standard Life Investments UK Property Fund.
The former owner made a huge profit on the deal, having bought it for £28m four years earlier.
Hammerson converted it from an underused shopping centre with many empty units into a premier retail and dining centre, attracting luxury names including ROX jewellers, The White Company, Michael Kors, Reiss and Hugo Boss.
More than 14,000 sq ft of extra retail floor space was added, including a food hall and top of the building was transformed into a bar and restaurant.
The sale, being handled by CWM Property, comes at a time of turmoil in the retail sector, which was already struggling before the coronavirus pandemic and has seen further problems in the various local and national lockdowns. Its current owners have already offloaded £100m of shopping centres this year.
Monument Mall is let to 16 companies, bringing in £3m a year in rent, with Sports Direct being the biggest tenant, paying £560,000 a year, followed by TK Maxx paying £450,000 a year.
The building incorporates three Grade II listed façades from the 1890s/early 1900s and retains façades from various twentieth-century building elements.