Investment firm buys shopping centre

A MULTI-national investment firm has stepped in to buy one of Suffolk’s biggest town centre shopping centres for �79million.

The Arc shopping centre opened just a year ago in Bury St Edmunds and has quickly become an established part of the town centre.

Earlier this year, the EADT revealed how Delancey, which owned the site on a 150-year lease from St Edmundsbury Borough Council, had put the Arc up for sale with a guide price of �70m.

It has now been confirmed that ING Real Estate Investment Management (ING REIM) has agreed a �79.45m deal to buy the plot on behalf of a pension fund.

The figure is about �20m less than the overall cost of building the complex – though the sale does not include the flats above some of the shops, the underground car park beneath the site and some other ancillary buildings.

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ING REIM said it had bought the centre on behalf of the West Midlands Pension Fund and said it intends to “continue and build upon the strong links that the previous owners developed with the wider town centre”.

Steve Gay, ING REIM’s asset manager, said: “We are very excited about our recent purchase and the opportunities in store at Arc.

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“The scheme complements the existing town centre and has traded well since opening, despite the challenging economic conditions felt nationally.

“We are positive about maintaining and developing connections with the wider town centre moving forward and are pleased to confirm that, following their great success over the past 18 months, Paul Haynes and his centre management team will remain in position to run the Arc on a daily basis.”

Mr Haynes, centre manager of the Arc, said: “The change of ownership will have no effect on the day to day running of the Arc and my team and I look forward to working with the people and businesses of Bury on an ongoing basis.

“The past 18 months has been a busy period for everyone at the scheme and I feel very positive about the future with ING REIM.”

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