NewRiver REIT has been appointed by Knowsley Council as asset manager of Kirkby town centre, the 225,000 sq ft site bought from St Modwen last month for £44m.
Knowsley brought the 87 shops and 12.4 acres of land which make up the centre into council ownership in November, in what the council said was its largest-ever property investment.
The council said the move was a “significant step forward after 20 years of failed attempts from the private sector to progress with development in Kirkby”.
The first scheme to be built will be a 94,000 sq ft retail-led scheme, which includes a Morrison’s supermarket, a 20,000 sq ft Home Bargains, and a KFC.
The deal was formally agreed in November and the contract signed with GMI to allow work to begin on the retail-led project later this month.
Under the terms of the agreement with Knowsley, NewRiver will provide strategic asset management and business planning advice, and ongoing asset management services, in exchange for an annual fee.
The agreement also includes the potential for NewRiver to provide development monitoring services relating to the construction of the 45,000 sq ft Morrisons superstore.
Occupiers at Kirkby town centre include Iceland, Home Bargains, Superdrug and Costa.
Allan Lockhart, chief executive of NewRiver said: “Knowsley Council is a forward-thinking local authority that has taken a decisive step to deliver a new vision for its community. We look forward to supporting Knowsley Council through our market-leading asset management platform, and to working with the many other local authorities across the UK which are taking positive steps to transform their town centres.”
Mike Harden, chief executive of Knowsley Council said: “In November 2019, Knowsley Council took the bold step to acquire Kirkby town centre in order to take control and deliver the retail scheme that had been long promised by the private sector. In NewRiver we have found a highly experienced asset manager with the scale and retailer relationships to ensure that Kirkby town centre thrives with an attractive retail offer.”