Opus North is transforming the derelict four-acre site in Armley into a brand-new retail destination, with occupiers comprising Lidl, B&M Homestore and Farmfoods.
The company has sold the leasehold of the 20,000 sq. ft. Lidl superstore to Lidl, while the Palmer Capital Income Fund has bought the remainder of the site, with tenants B&M Homestore and Farmfoods on 15-year leases. Together the sales raised £8 million.
Last year Leeds planners gave the green light to develop the site, which was previously occupied by DENSO Marston, the thermal cooling systems manufacturer. Construction of the retail park has now started and it is scheduled to open in March next year. The main contractors are Shipley-based Stainforth Construction.
The park is already fully let, with B&M Homestore occupying 22,000 sq. ft. and Farmfoods 10,000 sq. ft. within the scheme. The development will regenerate the site, which had become an eyesore, and create more than 100 jobs.
The DENSO Marston factory, which is on one of the main roads through Armley, has been empty for a number of years since the company moved to new premises in Shipley.
Andrew Duncan, the managing director of West Yorkshire-based Opus North commented: “This was an excellent deal for all concerned. We are very proud of transforming a derelict eyesore in a prominent area of west Leeds into a first-class retail park, with household names as occupiers.
“The decision of high-profile retailers like Lidl, B&M and Farmfoods to move to our new retail park was a resounding endorsement of the development and the park’s popularity is reflected in the combined price we have achieved from the sales to Lidl and Palmer Capital. Our sizable investment in Armley is bringing more choice to shoppers and providing a major boost to the local economy,” added Mr Duncan.
Rupert Sheldon, Fund manager of the Palmer Capital Income Fund commented: “We are delighted to have secured this prominent new investment opportunity providing a long-dated and secure income. Our relationship with Opus North enabled us to secure this opportunity and plays nicely to the Fund’s USP of working with our local partners to gain an edge over the wider market.”
Fox Lloyd Jones advised DENSO Marston and Rees Denton and Savills advised Opus North on the lettings on site.