30 December 2016 – Hammerson plc has contracted to sell 50% of Watermark, the newly-opened 17,000m2 dedicated leisure and dining development adjacent to the Westquay shopping centre in Southampton, to its Westquay joint venture partner, Government of Singapore Investment Corporation (“GIC”), for a total consideration of £48.5 million.
The development, which opened earlier this month, brings the total retail and leisure space at Westquay to over 1 million square foot (93,500m2), reinforcing its role in Southampton as the regional destination for southern England. When fully leased the scheme will provide stabilised annual income of £5.5 million and is currently 95% let, offering customers a choice of over 20 restaurants including Five Guys, Bills, Cau, Franco Manca, Byron, Nando’s, Casa Brasil, Cosmo and Red Dog Saloon, many of which have taken their first locations outside London. The leisure offer also includes Hollywood Bowl and a 10-screen Showcase Cinema de Lux featuring laser projection and advanced surround sound technology, which will open in February 2017.
The tenure of the Westquay joint venture between Hammerson and GIC has now also been extended and Hammerson will receive a fee from the JV for the ongoing asset management of the combined centre. The disposal is expected to complete before the end of December 2016.
David Atkins, CEO of Hammerson, said: “GIC is one of our key joint venture partners and we are pleased to take forward this relationship. The new restaurant and leisure complex at Watermark is the largest development of its kind in the UK, showcasing our skills in creating consumer-led destinations that cater to the family experience, bringing exciting new restaurants, the most technologically-advanced cinema in Europe and a stunning new Esplanade alongside the historic city walls.”
Madeleine Cosgrave, Regional Head, Europe, GIC Real Estate, said: “We are pleased to extend our partnership with Hammerson, a leading operator of retail space in Europe, and our partner since 2007. As a long-term investor, we focus on ensuring that income streams from our investments are stable and resilient. To remain competitive in an age of e-commerce, retail destinations need to offer attractive consumer leisure experiences to boost footfall and customer retention. We believe Watermark’s diverse tenant mix and offerings will provide these experiences and enable Westquay, which is already a prime regional mall, to continue generating good returns over the long term.”