DevSec looks to summer start for Hale Barns retail scheme

Development Securities said it has "strong pre-letting interest" from several national retailers for its planned shopping centre in Hale Barns.

In an interim management statement the group, which has already signed up a 30,000 sq ft Booths, said it expects to start on site by the summer.

In the second quarter it will also start a "rolling refurbishment" of Ladybarn House, a 120-bed student hall in Fallowfield which it bought in September for £6.4m.

The anticipated yield for the 2012-13 academic year is expected to be 8.2%.

In Chorlton, Development Securities said it had identified a "medium-term opportunity for extensive refurbishment or redevelopment" for the shopping centre it acquired from Citybranch for £9m in November.

Elsewhere in the North West the group said it was in talks over the sale of the residential element of 250 homes at its Luneside development in Lancaster, and is awaiting the outcome of an appeal over plans to build 280 homes at Broughton, near Chester.

Across the group Development Securities said it had invested close to £160m of the net £188m of equity raised in more than 40 deals representing total asset value of over £340m.

Chief executive Michael Marx said: "We intend to continue to focus on the more affluent districts of the UK economy. From a sector point of view, we have found that demand exists for these regenerated assets for food stores, retail schemes around strong anchors such as food stores, selected residential and student accommodation in certain locations and hotels.

"Notably, we have not found many attractive projects in areas that will deliver new offices or industrial facilities. This does not surprise us."

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