M Core, one of the largest, privately held commercial property collectives in the UK, has acquired Ocean Plaza, in Southport, as it continues to drive investments into commercial real estate.
The park, located on the sea front adjacent to Marine Parade and the pier, is the dominant retail warehouse and leisure scheme for the town and surrounding area. It comprises 95,107 sq ft of retail, anchored by Dunelm and Matalan, Pizza Hut and Pets at Home. Adjacent is a 117,165 sq ft leisure park with an eight-screen Vue cinema, health and fitness centre, and a 20-lane tenpin bowling alley.
It was acquired for an undisclosed sum in an off-market deal.
James Buchanan, managing director of the LCP Group, which is part of M Core, said: “We’ve long demonstrated an appetite for investing in retail parades and centres throughout the UK, and this is not abating. Not only are these superb investments, acquisitions such as Ocean Plaza also provide us with a good opportunity to add value.
“We have a healthy pipeline of acquisitions coming down the line, which will only add to our growing reputation as one of the most acquisitive businesses when it comes to investing in commercial property. It’s a strategy that has served us well for the past five years and we are sufficiently flexible to be able to adapt quickly to the challenges many occupiers and organisations are facing.”
Barry Flint, LCP director, added: “Our experienced intensive asset management teams understand the market and our local teams have an in-depth knowledge of the communities they work in. Together, this means we can target the right kinds of tenants, whether they are high street names or independent traders, to the right place for them.
“It’s a strategy that works and it’s why we have a black book of contacts, waiting to locate to our centres. We recognise there’s a great deal of potential to add value in the leisure part of the park and we look forward to announcing new tenants soon.”
M Core has invested more than £373 million across 61 properties in just over two years within commercial real estate, predominantly in retail in its UK portfolio. Major acquisitions include Cwmbran Centre, Cwmbran; The Galleries, Washington, Sunderland; Aviemore Retail Park, and Three Spires in Lichfield.
It has £300 million available to invest for assets ranging from £500,000 to £30 million and portfolios up to £150 million, and is actively seeking sites for acquisition.
The solicitor for M Core was Catherine Gunz at Osborne Clarke and agent was Simon Lewis of Lewis Ellis. The agent for the vendor was Morgan Williams.