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£235M Mailbox Sale: Try Switching It Off Then On Again?

Mailbox after dark

The £235M sale of Birmingham's Mailbox office and retail scheme is off. But will soon be on again.

Brockton Capital put the UK’s largest mixed-use building outside London up for sale in July 2018. CBRE was appointed to market the 690K SF development on behalf of Brockton and its partner Milligan.

Brockton seemed to have picked a good moment: spring-summer 2018 saw a surge in regional deals including Tristan Capital's sale of Birmingham's 500K SF Cube. The Mailbox had also recently scooped an impressive new tenant when engineering consultancy WSP agreed to take 47K SF at the 200K SF building.

And since then the sale has gone very quiet, along with the rest of the regional investment scene. What had been expected to be a Brexit hedge investment has, despite rock-solid tenants and 96% occupancy, turned out to be a victim of the all-embracing Brexit crisis, as Brockton Managing Director David Marks hints.

Brockton suspended the sale of the Mailbox, but hopes to resume the process soon.

“The Mailbox is now 96% leased and with 14 years weighted average unexpired lease terms of income," Marks told Bisnow. "Its a pretty rare and lengthy WAULT for a mixed-use asset of that scale. The main tenants who drive the bulk of that long-term income are the BBC Midlands HQ and studios, Q Park, Everyman Cinema, Harvey Nichols, WSP Engineers, and tech firm Advanced.”

“We are driving for 100% occupancy; we are talking to a wide range of occupiers to fill that last 4% of the space and then we will relaunch the sale accordingly. We are confident we will do our bit in leasing up the entire scheme, and I hope that Parliament can do its bit and deliver certainty for the markets.”

To join the conversation on Midlands investment at the Bisnow Birmingham State of the Market event on 1 May register here.