A new swathe of regeneration in Altrincham town centre appears to have been unlocked after a £50million deal was agreed between Trafford Council and property firm Bruntwood Works.
The breakthrough joint venture involves the acquisition of the Stamford Quarter shopping centre and Clarendon House on Stamford New Road, as well as Stretford Mall.
The long leasehold of the 367,000 sq ft Stamford Quarter – which encompasses much of Altrincham’s core retail offer including Boots, Next, Rackhams, H&M, Wilko, Waterstones and Paperchase – is currently held in a Luxembourg-based vehicle, Lunar Altrincham Sarl.
That was was formed when Apollo Global Management partnered with M&M Asset Management in 2013 to buy Aviva’s Project Moon property portfolio for £351.8m, a deal financed by a loan issued in June 2014 that valued the Stamford Quarter at £24.1m.
However, the Stamford Quarter part of today’s deal is reported to be 40% less at around £14m, an indication of the reduced appeal of the high street generally.
Lunar had submitted plans to redevelop the 60,000 sq ft, three-level Rackhams into a retail, office and residential scheme, but with the building now under council control, those plans could change.
Meanwhile, the 33,800 sq ft Clarendon House building, the former home of Altrincham Library as well as office and retail space, already has planning permission in place for 60 apartments, but those plans could also be revisited.
Trafford said the acquisition of the Stamford Quarter would “allow the award-winning Altrincham high street to continue to thrive”.
Cllr Andrew Western, leader of Trafford Council, said: “This is fantastic news for Trafford. One of our aims is to create successful and thriving places in the borough, with a particular focus on our town centres and local communities, and this deal allows us to do this.”
Returns from the investment will be put back into frontline services, the council said.
Andrew Cooke, Regional Director at Bruntwood Works, added: “Altrincham town centre is one of Greater Manchester’s biggest success stories in recent years, soaring in footfall, economic growth and consumer appeal, so we’re thrilled to be part of its journey.
“We have a long history of creating places, developing inspirational workspaces alongside flourishing retail destinations, and we have always sought to create incredible environments and communities in which our customers can grow.”
CBRE acted as the agent for Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council, while Savills acted on behalf of the vendor.
Addleshaw Goddard advised Bruntwood Works and Trafford Council on the deal and Hamlins was instructed by the vendor.