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US investor eyes new direction for Birmingham shopping park after buyout

An out-of-town retail park in Birmingham has been acquired by a US investor with the new owners planning to explore additional uses for the site.

Atlanta-based Invesco Real Estate, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has bought The Fort Shopping Park in north Birmingham in partnership with London-based investor George Capital for an undisclosed fee.

The vendor was a consortium of institutional investors including Nuveen Real Estate, CBRE Global Investors, Aberdeen Standard Investments and M&G Real Estate.

The 29-acre park is based in Fort Parkway, Castle Bromwich, and has a broad range of retailers and food and drink outlets including Primark, Next, Sports Direct, Superdrug, Wilko and Nando’s over 300,000 sq ft of retail space.

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The new owner said it would look to explore alternative uses for the park which could include logistics and fulfilment occupiers alongside its retail offer as they strive to help it recover in a post-covid retail landscape increasingly dominated by online shopping.

The acquisition is the seventh for Invesco’s European Value-Add Fund II which invests across a broad range of property types with an emphasis on those poised to benefit from post-covid structural changes and recovery.

Miles Skinner, director of UK transactions at Invesco Real Estate, said: “The UK retail warehouse park market has remained resilient despite the challenges of the last 18 months and we are delighted to partner with George Capital to acquire The Fort which offers excellent repositioning opportunities in conjunction with very strong underlying real estate fundamentals.

“The asset fits with our strategy to seek out well-located opportunities with value creation prospects which will allow us to introduce diversification of occupier in a changing retail world and to implement enhanced environmental, social and corporate governance initiatives in order to drive performance for our investors.”

US investor eyes new direction for Birmingham shopping park after buyout

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Ben Young, founder of George Capital, added: “As the wider retail market has evolved, we identified through detailed analysis the relative strength and potential of the retail warehouse park sub-sector early on in its recovery.

“We are delighted to have secured The Fort. There are a number of opportunities for us to add value through active asset management of the existing retail units and to explore alternative uses, particularly in fulfilment and logistics, for part of the site.”

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