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TCS unveils latest plans for Leeds

BOOSTED: Edward Ziff, Chairman and CEO Town Centre Securities.
BOOSTED: Edward Ziff, Chairman and CEO Town Centre Securities.
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Property firm Town Centre Securities (TCS) said it has protected itself from “​the worst of the turmoil on the high street” by lowering its exposure to retail.

The Leeds-based firm said it has also been boosted by the decision to turn the Merrion Centre into a mixed-use asset rather than a traditional shopping mall. High street retailers have suffered the worst of the consumer downturn as shoppers rein in spending.

​The group said that​ overall trading was in line with the ​b​oard’s expectations​.​ ​​Like-for-like​ passing rent ​rose​ 4.1​ per cent.

​TCS said it has made ​​good progress with ​its​ Leeds and Manchester developments​.​ The two cities combined make up 73​ per cent​ of the ​group’s ​portfolio​.

​The group said that over the past​ 12 months​, it has made​ significant progress in strengthening ​its​ regional presence​. In Leeds, it said ​the Merrion Centre is now a ​“​true mixed-use asset​“​ and with the re-development of Merrion House and the ibis Styles hotel, the dependence on traditional “mall” retail income has reduced to less than a quarter of the total.

The ​c​ompany has completed the development and occupation of Merrion House with ​its​ ​​joint venture partner and tenant Leeds City Council​. The firm’s share of the annual rent ​is ​now £1.7m. TCS is also in the process of entering into a ​​joint venture​ ​​with Leeds City Council for construction of an apart-hotel with retail units on George Street, alongside Leeds City Market and Victoria Gate.