US-based real estate investment and asset management firm The Ardent Companies has completed the acquisition of Touchwood shopping centre in Solihull, home to retailers including John Lewis, Zara and Next, from Lendlease Retail Partnership (LLRP) for an undisclosed sum.
It gives Ardent a new foothold in the UK and it plans to enhance the established offering at Touchwood, encompassing 650,000 sq ft of high-quality retail, restaurant, and leisure space, through a new asset management initiative it is calling “Project Atlanta”.
Management company Sovereign Centros will work alongside leasing agents Cushman & Wakefield and Knight Frank to drive a raft of new initiatives as part of Project Atlanta, focussed on attracting the latest retail and leisure concepts to the centre, with Ardent “already inheriting significant demand for space from potential new occupiers.”
Located just a five-minute walk from Solihull station, Touchwood is well positioned be a driving force in Solihull’s wider growth ambitions, with the arrival of HS2 set to reduce the journey time from London Euston to 38 minutes.
Matt Shulman, CEO at The Ardent Companies, commented: “Touchwood is an exceptional shopping centre and completing the acquisition marks a new milestone for our UK investment platform, which we are excited to grow further in alignment with our strategies and objectives in the US.”
Andrew Hilston, Managing Director at Ardent UK, added: “Touchwood’s exceptional location and strong tenant line-up were important factors in our decision to invest – underpinned by its emergence as the only John Lewis anchored centre in the region.
“Solihull is poised for growth as a key commercial location within the West Midlands and we have already received numerous competitive approaches for space at the centre from potential occupiers across retail, leisure and hospitality.”