Lidl buys from Opus North

Developer-investor Opus North has sold a 1.2-acre site in Halton to supermarket group Lidl for £1.45m.

Lidl will begin construction work on the 18,000 sq ft store in West Lane shortly, with completion due by the end of 2013.

Andrew Duncan, managing director of Opus North, said: "The Lidl sale is an excellent deal in challenging times for the property market in the north of England. It comes hard on the heels of our sale of the Ford dealership in Runcorn to a private investment company in the North East for £2.72m."

Ilkley-based Opus North has also appointed Sivils Construction of Chesterfield to build the showrooms and offices for a new 15,000 sq ft Ford car dealership at the development site, opposite Halton Lea shopping centre in Runcorn, which is due for completion by December 2012. The site is let to Ford Retail UK Ltd on a 20-year unbroken lease at an initial yield of 6.25%. Rent is £12/sq ft.

Duncan added: "The Ford dealership and the Lidl supermarket are crucial parts of this development in central Runcorn, complementing the popular Halton Lea shopping centre. We are currently talking to a number of restaurant operators and retailers with a view to leasing or selling the one-acre plot at the front of our site. That will be the final piece of the jigsaw."

Opus North is funded by Palmer Capital, a significant shareholder in the business.

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