Evolve Estates Part of M Core takes over Norwich city centre site24/10/2023
National commercial property and investment company Evolve Estates, part of M Core, has acquired a major retail and office site in the heart of Norwich city centre.
It has added 9-73 St Stephens Street to its portfolio, a 160,000 sq ft site, after agreeing terms with an undisclosed pension scheme.
It comprises a block of retail units located across three streets – St Stephens Street, Queens Road and Surrey Street – as well as a block of office accommodation on Surrey Street. The 30 retailers include high street brands including Sainsbury’s, WHSmith and Specsavers.
Joe O’Keefe, a Founding Partner at Evolve, said the acquisition presented multiple improvement opportunities, adding that it is already in negotiations to fill more than 65,000 sq ft of vacant space.
“The site is fantastically located, in a busy part of the city centre, close to the bus station and the main shopping area,” he said.
“The St Stephens Street area is a key gateway to the city centre and benefits from a high number of visitors and because St Stephen’s Street has been redeveloped by the council, we can see there is considerable scope to put in different plans to enhance the site.
“Our strategy is simple: we invest in our retail sites, making the necessary improvements to enhance them and make them more attractive to both potential tenants and to the local communities who use them.
“Our asset management team is excited about the possibilities and is already in detailed discussions with a number of operators, which is testament to the relationships they have built with nationally known brands.
“We’d also love to speak to local, independent retailers who are interested in expanding or moving to new premises there. We’re looking forward to getting started and hope to unveil plans in the coming months.”
Evolve has a significant pipeline of retail acquisitions and expects to complete more than £300 million by the end of 2023.
M Core, of which Evolve Estates is a part, has invested more than £160 million over 12 months in 25 retail centres. Major acquisitions include Grosvenor Shopping Northampton, Parc y Llyn in Aberystwyth, and the Viking Centre in Jarrow.
It has £300 million available to invest for assets ranging from £500,000 to £30 million and portfolios up to £150 million and is actively seeking sites for acquisition. Contact email@example.com for more information.
The solicitor acting on behalf of Evolve was Andrew Cooper of Clarke Wilmott and Tim Lloyd of Prime Retail acted as the agent. JLL acted as an agent for the vendor.
Kat Behbahani will lead the asset management team and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org