TCS makes Piccadilly Basin retail void priority

Michael Hunt

Town Centre Securities has announced its plans for the former Ilva store in the £250m Piccadilly Basin regeneration scheme in Manchester.

In an interim management statement for the period 1 January to 18 May 2009, TCS said: "Our preferred strategy is for a mixed retail scheme that will attract tenants as a home/lifestyle destination store. We are confident about the unit's potential and we hope to be in a position to make further announcements with our preliminary results in September."

TCS said its overall occupancy levels were at 91%, compared to 92% on 31 December last year and re-letting the retail store at Piccadilly Basin, which accounted for "4% of voids", remains one of its top priorities.

The announcement follows Town Centre Securities' letting of the commercial space at 118-124 Deansgate in Manchester to restaurant operator Ben Brazil, alongside Staples and Cotswold.

Edward Ziff, chairman of TCS, said: "Our substantial exposure to 'value for money' retailing stands us in good stead, and we will ensure that we continue to put the right tenant in the right property paying the right rent."

Rent collections remained satisfactory, TCS said. The company has net debt of £191m.

TCS said following the sales of properties in York and Leeds, net debt is expected to fall further by the year end on 30 June 2009.

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