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 board’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 company 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.