New joint venture will repurpose UK department stores

Mark Phillipson and Christopher Daniel - Quadrant Repurpose.

Quadrant, the UK real estate asset management and development company, and Eccleston Capital are launching the first single-purpose venture aimed at repurposing redundant department stores and other large retail units across the UK.

The new venture – Quadrant Repurpose – will identify assets which have potential for transformation into other uses including residential, hotels and leisure. It will also identify where department stores can retain a presence in reconfigured space which better meets the needs of shoppers. This could entail bringing in different uses alongside the retail offer.

Quadrant is one of the most experienced commercial property asset and development managers in the UK. Since it was formed in 1997, through working with long-standing global capital partners, it has successfully executed transactions worth in excess of £2.5bn and has developed, refurbished and managed more than 5m sq ft of space across all property sectors.

Eccleston Capital is the new investment and asset management vehicle created by Mark Phillipson who, through his work with Colliers International and Briant Champion Long, has more than 30 years’ experience as a retail property consultant.

Quadrant’s Founding Partner, Christopher Daniel, comments: “It’s clear that huge swathes of redundant retail property urgently need to be repurposed for new uses. If the UK’s high streets and town centres are to be revitalised, this will be an essential part of the process.

“Our track record of developing and maximising real estate across the retail, office and residential sectors gives us the perspective and expertise to manage the complexities of repurposing. Coupled with Mark’s retail consultancy experience, this is a compelling offer at a time of significant need.”

The venture will work with the existing owners of appropriate assets or acquire assets outright.

Eccleston Capital’s Mark Phillipson comments:“The UK has more than 1,000 department stores. These represent a huge footprint in urban locations across the country, and a substantial proportion of these stores are facing the prospect of no longer having a retailing future. For example, more than 50 former BHS stores still remain vacant three years after the retailer ceased trading.

“It will not be viable to transform all of the stores facing redundancy, but Quadrant Repurpose can assess viability and bring together the expertise and capital which the repurposing process demands from planning through to development.”