Rushmere shopping centre and retail park goes on market for £57m

Rushmere shopping centre and retail park, which has gone on the market for £57 million
Rushmere shopping centre and retail park, which has gone on the market for £57 million

ADMINISTRATORS at Rushmere shopping centre and retail park in Craigavon have put the sprawling complex on to the open market with an asking price of £57 million.

Its owners Central Craigavon Limited sunk into administration in April owing around £91 million.

Set on a site of more than 31 acres and attracting an annual footfall of 5.6 million people, it is expected to attract keen attention from institutional investors, given that the asking price is below its 2020 valuation.

It is potentially the biggest commercial real estate investment sale in Northern Ireland this year.

The property, which produces an annual gross income of £7.6 million and a net income of £7.3 million, comprises 50 commercial units in the covered shopping mall, and is the dominant retail scheme within the wider urban area of Craigavon.

Rushmere is home to some of the UK and Ireland’s most prominent retailers, and the recent anchor letting secured to Primark - filling the void left by Debenhams after it went bankrupt - is likely to enhance its retailing appeal.

Other complementary retailers include Boots, Home Bargains, Superdrug and Dunnes Stores in the shopping centre, as well as Homebase, Matalan, Next and Currys/PC World in the retail park.

Commercial real estate agencies CBRE and Savills are acting as joint agents on the sale of the property, which has also lost Sainsbury's as one of its anchors.

Andrew Coggins, senior director at CBRE NI, said: “Rushmere shopping centre and retail park is an exciting asset to bring to the market in Northern Ireland, currently the largest investment asset for sale here this year.”

Ben Turtle, director at Savills, added: “The scheme is fully let to a number of well-known and prominent tenants, so we anticipate there will be strong investor interest in this investment opportunity.”

The total retail accommodation at Rushmere extends to approximately 485,000 sq ft, with free onsite car parking for 1,800 vehicles.

Administrators were appointed to Central Craigavon Limited in April after Bank of Ireland stepped in to secure tens of millions of debt.

A report in June from the joint administrators indicated that the entre would likely be put up for sale within months.

David Warnock and Stephen Tennant from Grant Thornton said Central Craigavon suffered badly following the collapse of key tenants Debenhams and the Topshop/Arcadia group.

“In addition to creating a large reduction in rental income, these voids also left behind large vacant units, with significant void costs falling due, including rates, service charge and insurance.”

Central Craigavon’s accounts for 2019 showed a loss of £32m after the valuation of its assets was cut by £37m.