- Hammerson exchanges contracts with Birmingham City Council to acquire Grand Central above the redeveloped New Street railway station
- Anchor store John Lewis says new ownership ‘cements the city as a retail destination of choice’
- Hammerson is in advanced discussions about a 50-50 joint venture for the future ownership of Grand Central
Birmingham’s Grand Central shopping centre, home to 40 retailers including John Lewis, has been sold to property firm Hammerson for £335m.
Hammerson has exchanged contracts with Birmingham City Council to acquire the mall above the £750m redeveloped New Street railway station.
Joint ownership proposal
Hammerson, which owns the Bullring in Birmingham, says it is in advanced discussions with an existing partner about a 50-50 joint venture for the future ownership of the centre.
Retail Week followed the development of Grand Central, which opened in September last year, in its Four Sites documentary series.
The centre provides 435,000 sq ft of retail space and is almost fully let. It is anchored by a 250,000 sq ft John Lewis store and other tenants include Monsoon, Fatface, Hobbs, Cath Kidston, Joules, Jo Malone and Mac.
62,000 visitors a day
Birmingham New Street is the second busiest station outside of London and 55 million passengers are expected to pass through it annually. Since opening, an average of 62,000 people per day visited Grand Central, and that figure rose to 105,000 over Christmas.
Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said: “The acquisition of Grand Central, a highly-prized trophy asset in the UK’s second city, is fully aligned with Hammerson’s strategy of owning top-performing retail destinations in prime locations.
“By deploying our expertise from Bullring, Hammerson is well placed to further enhance the consumer offer in Birmingham”
David Atkins, Hammerson chief executive
“By deploying our expertise from Bullring, as well as other shopping centres around the UK, Hammerson is well placed to further enhance the consumer offer in Birmingham and achieve high returns through skillful management of Grand Central.”
John Lewis Partnership managing director Andy Street said: “The development of Grand Central is great news for Birmingham and it cements Birmingham’s position as a retail destination of choice. Our new shop has enjoyed a wonderful reception in the city, and given Hammerson’s proven expertise in managing shopping centres it can only go from strength to strength.”
Hammerson was advised by CBRE and Birmingham City Council was advised by Cushman & Wakefield.