Hunter UK Retail Trust completes £21.3 million high street spree

Hunter Real Estate Investment Managers (‘Hunter’) has completed a further £21.3 million of acquisitions in its Hunter UK Retail Trust. Comprising assets in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Bristol, the latest round of purchases take total spending in the closed-end vehicle to over £43 million since launching ten months ago.

In Bristol, Hunter has acquired a recently refurbished 12 unit retail parade situated in a prominent position on Union Street for £9.6 million. Opposite Broadmead and the heart of the city’s retail centre, the 65,000 sq ft site is let to 11 tenants including Cotswold, Halfords, Ladbrokes, Poundland, Costa Coffee and Pure Gym. The property benefits from significant footfall as a result of the large number of office buildings and residential dwellings nearby.

The fund has also acquired two units for £5.52 million on Frederick Street, in the heart of Edinburgh city centre, totalling 8,891 sq ft. The first, 31 Frederick Street is currently leased to Chiquitos over the ground floor and Laings at first floor, whilst 29 Frederick Street has been purchased with the benefit of vacant possession following Laings’ relocation to its new store.

Hunter has agreed a lease surrender from Chiquitos and has submitted a planning application to combine the unit with the neighbouring 777 sq ft unit (at ground floor level only) previously acquired by the fund in November. Subject to planning approval and licensing, the new combined 5,000 sq ft unit will be leased to Mitchell & Butlers, who will bring their new Miller & Carter Steak concept to Edinburgh city centre for the first time. Laing’s will remain in occupation of the first floor premises.

A 43,000 sq ft retail parade has also been purchased by Hunter in Aberdeen. Acquired for £7.66 million, the units are currently let to established retailers Sports Direct and Poundland, in addition to independent restaurant operator, The Shack.

The acquisitions are in line with Hunter UK Retail Trust’s strategy to invest in blocks of underutilised assets situated in desirable high street-led locations across the UK. This includes assets in thriving town centres catering to affluent, upper quartile catchment areas with strong retail and leisure offerings.

Commenting on the deals, Andrew Moffat, Fund Manager at Hunter, said:

“We continue to add to the fund’s portfolio, selectively acquiring quality assets which align with our overall strategy for the Hunter UK Retail Trust. This latest round of acquisitions provide excellent opportunities for proactive asset management as well as providing strong income returns and demonstrate our continued confidence in the UK high street and the returns available in particular pockets around the country.”