Crown Estate agrees the sale of Manchester’s St James’s House

We announced today that we have agreed the sale of St James’s House in Manchester to Tesco’s Pension Fund for an undisclosed price. 

12 June 2015

We originally purchased the office block on St James’ Square, which comprises 66,000 sq ft of office space over six floors and three ground floor retail units, in 1995.

Hannah Milne, Head of our Regional Portfolio said: “The sale represents a good example of our wider investment strategy, which involves generating working capital for reinvestment across our core sectors by divesting from non-core assets. Regionally, our focus continues to be on dominant retail and leisure schemes, which includes our portfolio of prime shopping parks, as well as our interests in shopping centers in Exeter, Oxford and Worcester.”

We cannot borrow and therefore funds investment across its core sectors in two ways; strategic joint ventures and recycling capital generated by divesting from assets considered to be non-core. Last year, for example, The Crown Estate sold industrial parks in Taunton and Isleworth for a combined £21.5m.

Our core sectors are central London’s West End (Regent Street and St James’s), dominant regional retail schemes, rural land and offshore wind.

Our regional portfolio, valued at over £2bn, includes 17 shopping parks across the UK, as well as interests in three shopping centers; the Westgate Centre in Oxford, Exeter’s Princesshay and Worcester’s Crowngate Centre.

Tesco Pension Fund was represented by John Miles & Company and Griffiths Eccles acted for The Crown Estate.