Downing poised to expand portfolio following £37.6m sale

Michael Hunt

Liverpool-based Downing has announced it is in a strong position to expand its property portfolio in 2010, following the £37.65m sale of Broadcasting Place in Leeds.

The company, which owns and manages around 1m sq ft of office space in Liverpool alone and has mixed-use schemes under development across Manchester, sold the 111,000 sq ft commercial scheme to Aviva.

 Broadcasting Place-LeedsThe building is entirely let to Leeds Metropolitan University on a 22-year lease and represents an initial yield of 5.85%.

It follows the completion of a 220,000 sq ft letting to UK Border Agency at The Capital building in Liverpool city centre last month.

Paul Houghton, development director at Downing, said: "This strategic disposal marks the culmination of a very fruitful three months for Downing. It will allow us to build on the success of the UKBA letting and the sale of Downing Plaza phase one, to move forward in 2010.

"There is no doubt that this will be another tough year for the industry. However, the successful conclusion of these deals means we are in a strong position to take advantage of the significant opportunities presented by changing market conditions."

DTZ advised on the sale

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George quietly getting on with business while others founder. Congrats and a nice price too.
Reminds me of one of my favourite Mipim moments: snooty London private banker making small talk on Liverpool yacht with the Downing clan, who mention they’ve just sold some student accommodation. Banker asks how much. £100m or so to Unite comes the answer. Banker’s jaw drops as he sees Liverpool chap in new light.

By snowdog

Maybe Downing could now actually do something with all that money, like develop the derelict Scandanavian Hotel in Liverpool that LCC spent money CPOing, before handing it to them on a plate.

By MrD