Retail park snapped up by local authority

Insider Media Limited

A retail park in south Hampshire has been acquired by a local authority for nearly £13m in a deal brokered by property consultancy Vail Williams.

Eastleigh Borough Council is the new owner of Chestnut Avenue Retail Park in Chandler’s Ford, which is fully occupied by Aldi, American Golf, Dreams and Poundstretcher.

Paloma Capital, a private equity real estate investor acting on behalf of Paloma Real Estate Fund I, was the seller, having bought the retail park as part of a portfolio in January 2016.

The £12.85m acquisition was negotiated by Vail Williams on behalf of the council and followed refurbishment of the 47,253 sq ft property by Paloma Capital at a cost of £1.8m.

Russell Miller, a partner at the Southampton and Portsmouth offices of Vail Williams, acted for Eastleigh Borough Council; Avison Young in London represented Paloma Capital.

As well as advising on the property purchase, Vail Williams provided the council with a pre-acquisition survey and monitored completion of the refurbishment works on its behalf.

Vail Williams’ Solent team has a mandate for the ongoing management of the park headed regionally by Tim Poynting.

“This was a unique opportunity to secure a prime property investment for Eastleigh Borough Council, which was attracted to the long-term rental income in particular on the back of new lettings completed by Paloma Capital to Aldi and Poundstretcher,” said Russell Miller.

“Currently there is 100 per cent occupancy at the strategically located retail park, with a comprehensive refurbishment carried out by the seller prior to the £12.85m sale transaction at a cost of £1.8m.

“A number of local authorities are drawn to similar property assets because regular income streams can help fund services challenged by cuts in public expenditure from central government.”

Eastleigh Borough Council leader Keith House said: “This acquisition of Chestnut Avenue Retail Park demonstrates the council’s continued commitment to invest in the borough with the intention of encouraging regeneration, helping to protect and create local jobs and generating income to help support council services.”

Jack Pitman of Paloma Capital added: “In such a challenging retail market we are delighted to have sold our largest retail asset so successfully, following the comprehensive refurbishment of the vacant former Homebase store at a cost of £1.8m for Aldi and Poundstretcher.”