City picks up

City picks up

Interest in Sunderland retail and leisure sector estate is growing among institutional investors following the city’s launch of a business improvement district.

DTZ’s sale of Wilkinson’s department store on Fawcett Street for £7.5m reflects a net initial yield of 7.1%. The 108,000sq ft former House of Fraser department store is let for a further 11 years. The buyer AUB CPIF trust was represented by Knight Frank.

Sunniside leisure complex, anchored by Empire Cinemas, has also been acquired by Lumina RE Capital for £13m, a 7.2% initial yield. This price is £3.7m more than it went for in December 2010.

Most significant, however, is the sale of The Bridges Shopping Centre, at the heart of the new improvement district – gone to AEW for £152m, a 6.9% net initial yield. The Bridges has Primark and Debenhams anchoring 100 other shops – 550,000sq ft in all.