GCW’s shopping centre activity continues with the deal to purchase Yeovil’s Quedam shopping centre on behalf of investor Benson Elliot.
The 175,000 sq ft scheme was purchased for £15.1 million. It houses 45 units in the town centre including anchor tenants such as BhS, Boots, Primark, Marks & Spencer and River Island. Meaningful investment in the centre has been on hold for a number of years as proposed redevelopment projects have not come to fruition. Benson Elliot has committed some early investment to enliven the shopping environment and attract retailers to fill existing vacant units.GCW will act as letting agent on the scheme and already has three of the vacant shops under offer. Confidence in the centre is illustrated by the decisions of retailers such as HMV and Republic, rebranded as USC, both choosing to stay as they restructure their businesses and reduce the numbers of stores across the UK. “We are working to improve occupancy in the short-term through some flexible deals. We expect the centre to become fully let” says GCW director David Gooch.
The medium-term strategy is to attract a mainstream department store to the town, creating a positive environment to appeal to both other retailers and local shoppers from Yeovil’s extensive catchment. The deal includes a vacant piece of land adjacent to the Quedam centre which offers an ideal site for a new store. Benson Elliot sees strong opportunities to work with South Somerset District Council which has a clear strategy to enhance the town centre and is resistant to out of town development.