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Landsec Is The Latest REIT To Find A Residential Portfolio Down The Back Of The Sofa

Landsec owns 30% of the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

Landsec has followed in the footsteps of some of the other large U.K. shopping centre owners in looking to profit from building rental apartments over or around its retail schemes.

The U.K. REIT is looking at the possibility of partnering with specialist residential developers to build on and around its retail assets, according to The Times. It would likely use modular techniques to minimise disruption at its schemes.

Earlier this year it appointed Tim Treadwell, a residential specialist from Wilmott Dixon, as its head of strategy. About 40% of its £14B portfolio is retail.

Adding residential to retail to boost the flagging value of shops has been a major talking point among the owners of regional town centre assets for the past year or so, and now it appears that major shopping mall owners are waking up to the prospect.

Last week Intu said there was the capacity to build 5,000 homes at its schemes around the U.K. And in July Hammerson said as part of a strategic review it would look to unlock the potential to build mixed-use schemes including residential on 65 acres around its shopping centres.

But as Stifel analyst Alan Carter asked at the time of Hammerson’s announcement, if there has been all this value lying dormant in these companies’ portfolio, “Why not before?”

Related Topics: Hammerson, intu, Landsec