Ballymore Set To Buy London Shopping Centre And Turn It Into Homes
Residential developer Ballymore is set to buy a north London shopping centre and redevelop it into a scheme that could comprise as many as 3,500 homes, in what would be one of the largest conversions of retail into residential undertaken in recent history.
The developer has beaten off competition to buy the 188K SF Broadwalk Centre in Edgware for £75M from Aberdeen Standard Investment, React News reported.
The move is part of a growing trend for investors to buy retail schemes in order to turn them into residential, because of the fall in the value of retail. In May last year L&G bought a retail park in Wandsworth where it said it would build a £500M build-to-rent scheme.
Any redevelopment at Broadwalk Centre would likely see the amount of retail reduced, but some retained, and a significant number of new homes added. It would not be the first time Ballymore has undertaken such a scheme: at its 11-acre Brentford Project scheme in west London, it is building 800 new homes and 140K SF of retail, essentially creating a new high street for Brentford.
The Broadwalk Centre sits on a 13-acre site next to Edgware tube station, with the mall itself occupying about a third. It also comprises a 1,000-space car park.
The existing owners have examined varying options, according to CoStar, from extending the retail part of the scheme, to building 1,000 new homes on the car park, to the full addition of 3,500 homes, before opting to appoint Knight Frank and sell the asset with an initial asking price of £70M. The Greater London Authority and London Borough of Barnet are supportive of a redevelopment, CoStar said.
The centre is anchored by Sainsbury’s and TK Maxx. It has always played second to the huge nearby Brent Cross shopping centre.