M CORE ACQUIRES THE CENTRE LIVINGSTON, SCOTLAND04/12/2023
National commercial property and investment companies LCP and Evolve Estates, both part of M Core, have jointly acquired their largest retail centre yet – The Centre, Livingston.
The one million square feet retail and leisure destination, located in the centre of the town, just three miles from the M8 and nine miles from Edinburgh Airport, was acquired for an undisclosed sum.
With 166 shops, restaurants, cafes and leisure amenities, it is the home of big fashion brands including River Island, H&M, Primark and M&S, and is anchored by an ASDA store that stretches over about 100,000 sq ft. There are also three car parks nearby, with a total of 3000 spaces.
Danny O’Keefe, Founding Partner Evolve, said the ambitious acquisition of the retail centre marks a new chapter for the organisation.
“I am pleased to add this scheme to our established joint venture with LCP,” he said. “For the past few years, we have focused on building our retail portfolio, acquiring convenience-led shopping parades, centres and retail parks across the UK, which we believe to be undervalued and offer long-term rental growth.
“The Centre Livingston is our most ambitious retail acquisition yet in the UK and we are excited about the possibilities for improving it, which our proactive in-house team of experienced asset and property managers will be looking at now.
“They have a significant network of contacts across many national brands and they are already looking to attract big names as well as ambitious local traders who want to grow their businesses.
“I would like to thank all of the respective teams involved with this transaction for their efforts over the last few months.”
Ben Chislett, Group Chief Operating Officer LCP, part of M Core, added: “One of the questions we always ask when looking to acquire retail centres is ‘does it have potential to improve?’ and we believe The Centre Livingston does. The annual footfall is approximately 14.5m and the latest data show that people stay there for well over an hour and spend £62 a head at a time.
“We want to increase these figures further and enhance the shopping and leisure experience for those millions of people who visit the centre every year. We are really looking forward to getting to know the tenants and engaging the local community.”
M Core, a property collective comprising LCP, Evolve Estates, Proudreed and Sheet Anchor, has invested more than £160 million over 12 months in 25 retail centres. Major acquisitions include Alexandra Retail Park in Grimsby, Parc-Y-Llyn Retail Park in Aberystwyth, and Ocean Plaza in Southport.
It has £300 million available now to invest in retail sites, from sites as small as £500,000 to major £30 million locations and portfolios up to £150 million.
The solicitor acting on behalf of M Core was Kelsey Gibson of MacRoberts and Bradley Maher of Cited acted as the agent. Savills acted as an agent for the vendor, and its solicitor was Pinsent Masons.
Retained letting agents for the centre are Savills & EY & Co. For further information about available units, contact Rakesh Joshi, LCP director: RJoshi@lcpproperties.co.uk and Neil Woodward, head of London asset management, NWoodward@lcpproperties.co.uk