Liverpool’s former Toys R Us store is one of three properties bought by an unnamed retailer that are among the first six stores sold from the retailer’s portfolio, FI Real Estate Management has announced.
The Duke portfolio comprises 31 assets, made up of the freehold and long leasehold portfolio of the retailer’s estate. Chorley-based FI Real Estate Management was appointed in March to provide full asset, property and facilities management services to the portfolio.
FIREM has been working with integrated loan servicing and advisory firm Solutus. Cushman & Wakefield and Morgan Williams are the acting sales agents for the portfolio.
Other deals are close, FIREM said, and as suggested to Place North West by retail agents in March, subdivision of units will be undertaken in some cases. A FIREM spokesman said: “We recognised the appeal of a selection of properties within the Duke portfolio to successful out of town retail operators and as prime development opportunities.
“The six properties sold to date reflect the healthy appetite for prime sites and demonstrates our ability to unlock asset value by ensuring we utilise an intelligent and appropriate commercial approach. We are also in the final stages of securing a further four sales and are in negotiations to split many of the units to let to strong retail brands.”
The deals for the six stores, which cover a combined 222,318 sq ft, totaled £30.5m. The other properties sold are in Cardiff, Plymouth, Shrewsbury, Woking and York.
The 24,785 sq ft Liverpool store, on Paisley Street off Great Howard Street on the waterfront, was picked up by the undisclosed retailer with the Shrewsbury and York stores. Cardiff Council acquired the site in its home city, and is the only named buyer at this stage.
The UK-wide Duke portfolio comprises 1.87m sq ft in total and was put into Special Servicing with Solutus following the toy seller’s entering administration in February. The portfolio is owned by Toys R Us Properties (UK) Ltd which currently has secured debt of £263m. The only other Duke asset in the region is the former Warrington store.