Wolverhampton's Mander centre to be sold

Wolverhampton's Mander Centre has been put up for sale with a £50 million price tag, it was revealed today – weeks after Debenhams announced it would be opening a store at the site.

An artist’s impression of plans for the redevelopment  of the Mander Centre
An artist’s impression of plans for the redevelopment of the Mander Centre

Bosses today announced agents had been instructed to oversee the sale but said a planned £30m revamp of the shopping centre would still go ahead despite the sell-off.

Commercial property agent Cushman & Wakefield has been appointed to sell the shopping centre by its owner Delancey.

The announcement comes just weeks after department store giant Debenhams confirmed it had signed a deal to anchor the shopping centre, boosting hopes for the city's retail scene.

It will move in as part of wider proposed revamp of the site, which will also involve creating new shops and kiosks, and rearranging lifts and escalators by 2017.

Director Tim Haden-Scott said the company had already received a number of expressions of interest, adding: "We are confident we will achieve our asking price, if not more, and definitely find someone willing to do the development and take it forward.”

He added: “We are looking to help the lender, RBS, exit at the right price and recover as much of their money as possible. Delancey were never long-term holders of the asset.

“Over the last three years we have been working hard to reposition the centre in a difficult retail environment.

“We feel we have got to a point now where we have secured Debenhams to regenerate the centre and bring it back to its rightful place in the UK hierarchy.”

Property firm Delancey bought the Mander Centre together with other assets elsewhere in the UK in December 2010, in partnership with RBS, for an undisclosed sum.

The proposed sale is part of a wider disposal of the remainder of that portfolio, with the East Kilbride Shopping Centre in Scotland put on the market for £175m.

Delancey and RBS are also selling Brooklands Retail Park near Cardiff and considering options for three Total Fitness gyms in Bootle, Huddersfield and Whitefield as part of the move.

Bosses at the Mander Centre announced plans for the redevelopment in February.

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Comments for: "Wolverhampton's Mander centre to be sold"

PJW Holland

Hmmmm. Well depending who buys, this could represent the best news for Wolverhampton for years. In the real world the ideal solution would be a common owner of the two centres with the City owning a substantial share. There would be far greater scope for expansion and improvement.

Will this simply represent another Beatties-like asset stripping exercise? Let us hope not. (Beatties was sold off as a going concern. The Wolverhampton property was then sold off recovering virtually all HoF paid for the entire business). It has been downhill ever since.

DJ Hughes

This has to be a worry. Why would an owner state that £30m will be invested and then put the site up for sale for £50m?