Land Securities Bets £700 Million on the British Economy

on Oct 22, 2012
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**Trinity Leeds – Biggest Shopping Centre in Western Europe**

The biggest shopping centre in development in Western Europe is expected to open next year in Leeds, UK. The futuristic retail centre is known as Trinity Leeds and belongs to Land Securities.
The mall covers a 1 million sq ft area, which took the British developer five years to assemble by acquiring the previous small and ageing centre and buying numerous surrounding buildings. The project began in the summer of 2010 and has cost £350 million – a hefty bet placed on the future of the British economy by Land Securities.

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The centre is already 82 percent let with 120 shops including major names such as Topshop, Hollister, Urban Outfitters, Swarovski and Primark.
“There are a lot of retailers who aren’t trading well, but there are a lot making money, they just don’t want to talk about it. We have had competition from more than one retailer for some of the space. We have turned people away.” said John Grimes, retail leasing director at Land Securities, as quoted by The Telegraph.

!m[Trinity Leeds and Victoria Redevelopment – Two Grand Projects for the UK’s Largest Commercial Property Company](/uploads/story/615/thumbs/pic1_inline.png)The initial plan of the developer was to leave 12 percent of the centre for food and leisure operations but the high demand from restaurateurs means this share might increase to more than 20 percent. According to the owner, the uppermost three floors of Trinity Leeds will be dedicated solely to restaurants.

The Land Securities’ team believe that the success of their shopping centre will be based on two factors. First is that the Leeds city centre hasn’t changed much in the last 20 years and retailers have struggled to find appropriate locations for their stores. The second factor is the building’s futuristic design which will meet the modern needs of retailers – large store units, giant interactive screens, a mobile application, late-night opening hours and a tie-up with Google that will allows shoppers to search online for items on sale in Trinity.

**Land Securities to Start £350 million Victoria Redevelopment**
Last week the company announced it is also going ahead with the redevelopment of the area left empty by the demolition of the Kingsgate House near Westminster City Hall. Two separate buildings are planned to be built by Land Securities – a 14-storey 190,000 sq ft office building called the “Zig Zag building” and a 12-storey residential building dubbed as “King’s Gate”.
The scheme will cost the developer about £350 million and 2,500 jobs are expected to be created during the construction phase.
CEO Rob Noel said that his confidence in the project has been boosted by the recent tweak in planning laws, which would shield developers from being hit with unexpected Community Infrastructure Levy charges if they make minor amendments to their plans.
“Despite the uncertainty in the wider economy, we continue to invest in the UK based on our clear plan to build space where we see demand,” said Mr Noel. “Our investments not only drive economic benefits for the communities they impact but also social benefits. In pushing ahead now we will continue to make employment opportunities available in order to enable out-of-work Londoners to meet their full potential.”

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