British Land acquires more retail and fulfilment property

In part in response to the industry-wide rush towards ultra-fast-delivery, British Land has announced it is altering its strategy and buying sites that offer opportunities for retail and urban logistics.

As part of this, British Land has bought an underground car park in the City of London and a shopping park in Thurrock, both of which the developer says will offer “opportunities for urban logistics”.

Retail and fulfilment are becoming focuses of the firm as part of its central strategy that will also include technology campuses. The Finsbury Square car park cost it £20 million, in part acquired because the position close to its Broadgate campus offers “an excellent opportunity to create a last mile logistics hub in the City of London where supply for last mile logistics is highly constrained”.
The Thurrock shopping park cost British Land £82 million, which is close to East London and the M25. Occupiers include Decathlon, Adidas, TK Maxx, Iceland Food Warehouse and Pets at Home. This, it says, has an “excellent catchment where significant population growth is expected” – and which also offers a development opportunity for urban logistics.
The acquisitions, as well as two technology campuses will be paid for with property sales of around £160 million made in recent weeks.

British Land’s property portfolio is currently worth around £12.7 billion, a quarter of which is in retail and fulfilment.
British Land chief executive Simon Carter says: “We are delighted with the momentum we are delivering across our business as the economy reopens. Leasing activity at our London campuses has been strong, with a significant amount of space going under offer to a broad range of occupiers in the last two months.

“At the same time, we are continuing to deliver against our strategic priorities. We have sold off-strategy mature assets and will actively redeploy capital into opportunities that allow us to maximise our competitive advantage in asset management and development.”