Popular Paisley Mall the Piazza Shopping Centre has been acquired by NewRiver Retail as part of a deal valued at £68 million.
The purchase marks the largest acquisition to date for NewRiver Retail, a London based UK Real Estate Investment Trust who own a substantial portfolio of retail properties throughout the UK, and is the company’s first investment of this type in Scotland. The transaction saw NewRiver Retail purchase four centres from previous owners Zurich Assurance, and will give the Group a total of 14 shopping centres across the UK.
The Piazza, which was valued between £20 – £25 million in the transaction, is currently enjoying a relatively healthy footfall in a difficult retail economy based on an attractive mix of Food and Value offerings. New River Retail’s investment in the Mall, and in Paisley itself, builds on a track record of successful similar investments in small to medium sized shopping centres in areas where there is scope to improve the range of retail offerings, attract more shoppers and add value to the portfolio with consequential benefits for the wider area.
As a further boost for the local economy, the purchase has also led to the creation of a number of new jobs within the Mall with staffing levels having already increased by 50% under the new owners. The Piazza also proudly sponsors local rugby team Paisley Rugby Club and many other charities as part of their commitment to the local community.
Charles Spooner, Senior Asset Manager, New River Retail commented:
“NewRiver Retail is delighted with the acquisition of the Piazza Shopping Centre, and the current profile and popularity of the Centre is a perfect fit with our strategic approach. As specialists in identifying and improving successful retail property in towns and cities across the UK, we are always looking to add value to properties with potential.
“Since our acquisition of the Piazza we have successfully renewed leases with two existing tenants and negotiated deals for two brand new leases in the Mall. Our vision for the Piazza is to build on the characteristics which have seen it continue to prosper in a difficult economy, and to attract and retain more tenants who will thrive in the retail environment created there. We see the Piazza as the prime retail property in Paisley and are confident that we can help the Piazza to develop its position at the Heart of Paisley.
“Maureen Hill, Piazza Shopping Centre Manager, will continue to work closely with Renfrewshire Council in the delivery of successful events in Paisley town centre – such as the upcoming Christmas Lights Switch On. We’re also pleased to have had a productive meeting with Council representatives to share our vision for the Centre, and very much look forward to continue working with them to bring that vision to fruition.”
Councillor Brian Lawson, Council Leader of Renfrewshire Council and Chair of the Paisley Vision Board said:
“It is particularly encouraging to meet successful retail property experts who believe that Paisley is a valuable investment opportunity, and who have sufficient faith in their ability to improve the shopping environment that they have invested many millions of pounds in our town. The Piazza has always been a key part of Paisley’s retail landscape, and building on its success will benefit all retailers in the town by attracting more shoppers through offering increased choice and value in a convenient town centre location.
“Renfrewshire Council has worked hard in recent times to re-establish the value of the town as a retail location, with the key aim to encourage more people to spend more time in the town centre. Renfrewshire Council look forward to a productive partnership with NewRiver Retail, and we are delighted to work with and support investors with ambition whose vision for the success of the Piazza so closely aligns with our ambitions for our town.”