Property giant owners of Chester’s Grosvenor Shopping Centre have put the mall up for sale with a £67m guide price.
Consultants Strutt & Parker, who have been instructed to sell the property, confirmed to The Chronicle that a report about the sale on the Estates Gazette website is correct.
Occupiers include Debenhams, H&M, and restaurants Patisserie Valerie and restaurant Piccolino.
The sale will appear strange in a local context because the owners, US-based global asset management firm Carlyle Group and London-based Bride Hall Estates, recently invested in a £5m-plus conversion to bring TK Maxx and Sports Direct into the centre this spring.
News of the investment was welcomed at the time by Katrina Michel, chief executive of Marketing Cheshire, who said: “A great vote of confidence in Chester as a shopping destination and great news for lovers of fashion and sport.”
And the sale announcement comes just a week after the media was informed of a photo opportunity later this month, designed to help generate excitement ahead of the opening in time for summer of an £8m dining quarter that will house four restaurants within the former Habitat building.
The article on the Estates Gazette website, headed ‘Carlyle cuts its losses with final mall sale’, explains that the Chester mall was bought ‘at the top of the market’ along with two other shopping centres in 2008 for a total of £286m.
The property website reports that the other two malls have already been sold on – The Ashley centre in Epsom, Surrey, sold to CBRE Global Investors for £78.5m last August and The Broadwalk centre in London sold to Scottish Widows for £70m in 2012. If the Chester centre sold for its guide price of £67m then there would have been a total loss on the three-asset portfolio of £70.5m.
Neither the Carlyle Group nor Bride Hall Estates were available for comment.