THATCHAM’S Kingsland Centre has been sold.
Regeneration developer and investor, U+I, announced last Thursday that it had off-loaded the centre from its investment portfolio for £16.1m.
The sale comprises the Waitrose foodstore to Knight Frank Investment Management on December 22 and the remaining retail to investor Sheet Anchor Evolve Limited on January 31.
The combined sale price was above book value as of August 31, 2017, reflecting a blended yield of 5.86 per cent.
During its ownership, U+I said that significant value had been added to the centre, including extending the Waitrose lease by 15 years in 2015.
U+I Group chief executive Matthew Weiner said: “The sale of the Kingsland shopping centre marks further progress on our investment disposals strategy.
“We are pleased to have secured this sale above book value and are well placed to acquire new assets that align with our focus on regeneration.”
Plans for a new Waitrose store, 13 retail units, the refurbishment and extension of five existing shop units and accommodation at the Kingland Centre have been in the pipeline since 2007.
They were renewed in 2015, but there have been no signs of the plans, deemed vital for the town’s development, moving forward recently.
Sheet Anchor Evolve Limited did not respond to an interview request from the NWN.
Speaking about the unknown future of the site, the chairman of the Thatcham Chamber of Commerce, Jeremy Cottam, said: “Any change makes you slightly nervous about what they will be doing.
“Any change offers some kind of threat and some kind of opportunity.
“Maybe the new owners will go ahead with the expansion of the centre.
“We need more housing of course, but my concern is that there won’t be any room for the redevelopment of the Kingsland Centre, which, quite frankly, if done sympathetically would enhance the town centre.
“Nobody has heard from the new owners so we can’t come to a judgement yet.
"Let’s hope they are interested in investing in the future of Thatcham.”