Newmarket: Shopping centre sells for �17m

A TOWN centre shopping arcade has been snapped up for �17million by a property investment firm.

The Guineas Shopping Centre in Newmarket is home to the likes of Marks and Spencer, Peacocks and Argos.

Earlier this year, Allsop LLP was called in to act as receivers for the arcade after it was placed in administration.

It has now emerged that Helical Bar, a property development and investment company, has exchanged contracts to buy the 130,000sq ft site for �17.75m.

Mike Slade, Helical Bar’s chief executive, said the firm had bought the Guineas to take “advantage of value in the investment market”.

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He said the purchase was part of a wider overhaul in the firm’s portfolio which includes selling Southampton Trade Park, units in Eastcheap and a plot of land in Southall.

Michael Jeffereys, Mayor of Newmarket, said he was very pleased the site had been sold.

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“We probably will discuss it in January at Newmarket Town Council and possibly invite the new owners to a meeting to hear about their plans for the site.

“Clearly it is a very important part of Newmarket and we would like to see it successful and filled up with shops.”

He said he hoped plans for the site would include some refurbishment, adding: “It is quite an old shopping centre – it is one of the previous generations of shopping centres.”

The Guineas Shopping Centre, formerly known as The Rookery Centre, currently has a number of units to let out.

It is home to dozens of retailers in the town covering a range of industries including fashion, gifts, food, opticians, travel and health and beauty.

The Guineas was named a “partner” in the town’s economic success by Forest Heath District Council – which owns the land on which the centre sits. The council’s economic strategy aims to promote Newmarket as the district’s largest town.

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