The developer is understood to have partnered with the council to buy the 367,000 sq ft shopping centre in a move that has been welcomed by the town’s business community.
Trafford Council’s involvement in the deal with Apollo Global Management and M&M Asset Management for the Stamford Quarter, which covers much of the town’s retail core, was revealed earlier this week, but Place North West now understands Bruntwood will act as the council’s partner on the deal, rumoured to be worth around £14m.
Existing tenants across the Stamford Quarter include Boots, H&M, Greggs, Next, Pure Gym, River Island, Paperchase, WH Smith, Wilko, Waterstones, EE, CEX, and Domino’s Pizza. It also houses a Debenhams but this is set to shut under a programme of store closures announced by the retailer earlier this year.
The move by the council and Bruntwood has been welcomed by businesses based in the area with the partners now able to guide further development in part of Altrincham that has long been neglected.
A senior source at an Altrincham-based business said: “As far as we’re concerned it can only be a good thing for Altrincham. The previous owners gave the impression they were disengaged with the town and were only in it to turn a profit, but Bruntwood are a good landlord and could help to really transform that part of town. It also shows the council are keen to get things done and really invest in Altrincham”.
Another source close to the deal added: “It’s a really positive move because it brings most of the town’s core under Trafford’s control, and lets the council properly guide the development of the area rather than it simply being used for financial gain”.
Bruntwood is already active in Altrincham and currently owns the Station House office opposite the transport interchange and the Stamford Quarter.
Although the council and Bruntwood are yet to confirm their next steps for the Stamford Quarter, it is understood a masterplan for the area could be under consideration.
Lunar, the long-leaseholder of the Stamford Quarter had previously proposed reconfiguring the Rackham’s building into three retail stores on the ground and lower ground floors, totalling 22,700 sq ft, while the first floor was set to be converted to a 17,200 sq ft office, with 62 one and two-bed flats above.
A planning application for this scheme has now been validated, showcasing more images of the potential proposals, but it is not yet known how the deal with Bruntwood and the council will impact these proposals. The Rackham’s store is still set to close as planned.
Further towards the town’s transport interchange, a deal for Clarendon House is also understood to have been completed with Bruntwood. Lunar had put its leasehold of the building up for sale in December last year, and Place North West revealed the company had selected Fortis as its preferred bidder to redevelop the upper floors under an existing planning consent earlier this year.
However, it is understood the deal with Fortis to redevelop the building is now off the table with Trafford Housing Trust now working with Bruntwood to bring forward an overhaul instead.
The deal for the Stamford Quarter essentially brings the remainder of Altrincham’s retail core under Trafford Council’s control: it already owns the successful Altrincham Market, and bought the Grafton Centre at the opposite end of George Street last year.
Both ends of the retail core will be potentially looking to provide a complementary offer to the successful market; a joint venture partner for the Grafton Centre is expected to be chosen in the coming months, with a hotel-led mixed-use scheme the most likely outcome.
Housing a central shopping precinct, a 91-bed Travelodge, and numerous retail units, the Graftons is one of the last major undeveloped plots in the town centre.
Bruntwood and Trafford Council both declined to comment.