Norwich shopping centre’s price tag is revealed following sale of Anglia Square

Anglia Square, Norwich.
Photo by Simon Finlay. Anglia Square, Norwich. Photo by Simon Finlay.

Monday, June 9, 2014
12:10 PM

Norwich’s Anglia Square shopping centre was snapped up by its new owners for just over £7.5m – a dramatic drop on the £36m price tag it commanded less than a decade ago.

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It was revealed last month that the shopping centre had been bought by international investment manager Threadneedle Investments, ending months of speculation.

At that time, the new owners were tight-lipped about what they had paid for the centre, but the figure has been revealed by BTWShiells, which brokered the purchase on behalf of Threadneedle.

They revealed the centre had been bought for £7.55m - a drastic drop on the £36m the centre changed hands for just eight years ago.

At that time, Northern Irish group Lagmar Properties made a £12m profit in little over a year, having bought the centre for £24m in 2005.

Paddy Brennan, investment director for BTWShiells, said of the latest deal: “Anglia Square is a well established district shopping destination with an extremely loyal customer base.

“The scheme provides for numerous value-add asset management opportunities with major redevelopment potential. We are looking forward to working with Threadneedle on this project.”

The new owners insist they are committed to the square’s success and say they will be reviewing investment opportunities to attract more businesses and shoppers.

However, it is understood planning permission secured for the square on behalf of its previous owners is unlikely to be pursued.

Those plans, agreed by Norwich City Council, were for 174 new homes, a public square, new shops, restaurants, cafes and a healthcare centre, while Gildengate House, the office block over the entrance to the car park, would have been updated to provide modern offices. The plans also included a 7,792 square metre foodstore.

But the new owners look likely to come up with their own vision for the square’s future and are promising to consult businesses, local people and stakeholders.

While the mood among businesses at the square is positive, Stuart McLaren, secretary of the St Augustine’s Community Together Residents’ Association injected a note of caution.

He said: “On the whole the local community welcomes the fact that the long hiatus between planning consent in 2011 and now has at last been ended.

“Everyone wants to know what the new owner’s plans are for the square, especially, the derelict Sovereign House and the closed multi-storey car park, which dominate the skyline and are looking very run down.

“But given how comparatively cheaply they have bought it is there any incentive for them to demolish these structures in the near future if the market isn’t yet strong enough to attract investors to the building of something new there?

“The cheaper option of just smartening up the existing ground level retails units and pedestrian areas will not necessarily make the square a very much more attractive place to shop while these derelict buildings still dominate.

“The fear is that the new owners saw £7.55m as a bargain price to pay for the increased rents they think they can attract by spending a bit on smart new shopfronts and upgrading the fixtures and fittings here and there.”

What would you like to see happen at Anglia Square? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

15 comments

  • As it cost so little, it suggests that the purhcasers will have plenty of other money to invest in it, to bring it up to scratch. However, I would urge caution, as this really is a last chance salloon situation for the area. If they fail to get it right this time, it will be curtains for the area. Still, to remain positive is the key here. Personally, I look forward to seeing Anglia Sq have a new flourish of life and excitement. Magdalen Street has certainly improved from 10 years ago, let's finish it off nicely with a shiny sparkley new Anglia Sq. They need start getting big names behind this too, especially upon the re-opening. Alan Hansen would be ideal, as he has experience with Morrisons for promoting and will soon have spare time after this years world cup, when his MOD contract expires.

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    Whiley Boy

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • All across the country shopping centres are being refurbished and modernised, I believe there are plans for Castle park. Anglia square is surrounded by empty buildings which need to be removed along with any modernisation, and shops need to be filled so charge relistic rents.

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    gerry mitson

    Tuesday, June 10, 2014

  • 7.5 million too much.

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    DT

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Presumably, those eager to see Anglia Square demolished before there is any hope that anything other than a muddy vacant lot will replace it have easy access to cars so they can drive to out of town hypermarkets, that or else their mum's do their shopping for them. Like it or loathe it, for many people in the area there is little alternative to doing their daily shopping there. It least it still has a butcher, baker, chemist, cinema, cafe, newsagent and green grocer.

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    Red Steepler

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Talking of brown field sites, yet to see any recent development on the former Jarrold Printing site.

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    Tone the moan

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Those who say it should be flattened and a new start made are right. Combined with the Old Stationery Office and the areas currently used for parking it could become a very attractive development and help save some building on greenfield sites. Any piecemeal effort at refurbishing bits is doomed to failure.

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    balco

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • I agree with Albert Cooper. The council has acted disgracefully over the years around this part of the city. They at the very least should help foot the bill for the total flattening of this site. It would be nice to actually make St Augustines and the this site more desirable. This is an opportunity however the council will only be concerned with the biggest bribe they can get.

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    Parsnip

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • It would be nice to think it was brought as a long term investment. But the probability is, that the parts that are worth anything will be sold off & the parts that will cost money to maintain will be left to fall into even more neglect. The road system in the area is chaotic, the square is mainly derelict & the area is looking ever more run down.

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    el84

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Threadneedle is an international investment company owned by a spin-off from American Express. It was formerly owned by Zurich Insurance. The history behind the company is such that they're looking to make a long-term profit investment, not a quick turn-around and dump. Hopefully this means they'll look at the long-term future of the Square and a community core, rather than just turning it into housing or offices (and we have enough of those sitting around empty).

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    So_Many_Haters!

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • At that price, they should be able to give the place a thorough good clean, remove the graffiti and sponsor a couple of Go Go Dragons too.

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    Rich Hartt

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • I can remember when there was a sainsburys in Anglia square and a couple of night clubs a pool club and snooker club since then its gone down hill .

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    david106

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • I agree with Albert, low price to reflect what it is now. If Threadneedle wants to there is scope to invest that again in 'smartening' it up or they can really spend some money and still come in at less than 36 million. I hope that whatever they do it becomes an asset for Norwich.

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    George Ezekial

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • Pretty cheap, but it is a bit run down, much like the whole of Norwich will be if Labour win the next election

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    blister

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • A "Demolition" sale price ! Lets hope so ! then housing built in its place.Anglia Square and the Inner Link Road all part of the councils vision,hase proved a disaster for the City,thousands of houses demolished in its wake,and a Race Track Road going nowhere !

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    Albert Cooper

    Monday, June 9, 2014

  • At that price,you know what will happen.The cheap option more Walford market.

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    PaulH

    Monday, June 9, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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