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.
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.