Roaring success for Lion Walk regear

GCW has completed a 150-year extension to the headlease for Lion Walk Shopping Centre, Colchester, on behalf of the landlord CBRE Investment Management (CBRE IM).


Working with freehold owner, United Reform Church, GCW, which has had on and off involvement in the centre for 25 years, also simplified the gearing, and the repair liabilities, creating a cleaner investment.


Duncan Kite, managing partner, GCW, said: “It’s taken more than seven years of negotiations and healthy debate to regear the headlease on the centre, that involved two separate leases, which was a key asset management ambition the owners had from the day they bought the centre.


“Headlease regears don’t come along often and are usually complex transactions making this an important milestone for the asset.”


CBRE IM, on behalf of their client, purchased the 47-year- old 208,000 sq ft centre, in 2016. Anchored by Primark, it is the prime offer in the city centre, and last year GCW helped CBRE IM with several deals at the centre, which included signing JD Sport, US sports merchandise retailer Lids, and independent coffee operator, Black Sheep Coffee. Leading food & beverage operator, Pret a Manger, are due to open in early 2024.


Louisa Butters, head of retail asset management UK, CBRE IM said: “Achieving this regear for Lion Walk is important in helping secure the future of the centre, which is key to Colchester’s prime retail offer, and means we can move forward with any future plans for the asset.”