Hammerson plc (“Hammerson”) has exchanged contracts for the sale of Westwood and Westwood Gateway Retail Parks, Thanet, to clients of BMO Real Estate Partners for £80 million, having transformed the retail offer since acquisition and significantly increased rents.
The retail parks, covering a total of 24,900 m2, are located in Kent in the South East of England and benefit from a strong line-up of homeware retailers including Homebase, Wren, Tapi, SCS and Dunelm.
Hammerson acquired Westwood Retail Park in 2002 and since then has actively repositioned the asset through extensions and tenant engineering. The adjacent Westwood Gateway site was constructed in 2005 and a new retail terrace was added in 2009. A further extension of two units was added in 2016. Since acquisition, over 15,000 m2 of new floor space has been added and the rental income has increased by over 200%.
The sale price represents a net initial yield of 6.5% and is slightly below December 2016 book value.
David Atkins, CEO Hammerson, commented: “We continue to actively manage our retail park portfolio, realising proceeds to recycle into higher growth opportunities. We are progressing with our planned disposal programme for the year and remain committed to reducing leverage ahead of progressing with our development pipeline.”