REIT Watch: British Land Wins Permission for Next’s Sheffield Store
**British Land to Build Next’s Sheffield Store**
iNVEZZ.com Thursday, July 4th: British Land (LON:BLND), the UK’s second-largest real estate investment trust (REIT), has been successful at a public inquiry against Sheffield council and will be able to develop its proposed £10-million Next Home & Garden store by the Meadowhall shopping centre.
Next (LON:NXT), a British retailer offering products in clothing, footwear, accessories and home products, was refused permission to build a 61,000 square feet Next Home store on a British Land-owned site with planners arguing the development, which also includes construction of a car dealership and Costa Coffee bar, would have a harmful impact on investor confidence in Sheffield city centre’s retail sector. British Land, acting for Next, appealed against Sheffield City Council’s decision and a public inquiry was held. The
Planning Inspectorate has now announced its decision to allow the store to be built.
A spokesman for British Land said in a statement: “We are delighted that the planning inspector has agreed with our appeal and granted planning permission for a Next Home and Garden store, a car dealership and a Costa coffee shop at Vulcan Road, following the recent public inquiry.” She added that this decision would allow the REIT to get on site and proceed with construction as soon as possible, with project completion anticipated by the end of 2014.
In a separate development, British Land announced today that clothing retailer Phase Eight has signed for a 1,518 square feet store at Whiteley, the REIT’s new 320,000-square-feet retail and leisure centre in Hampshire which opened last month. Footfall at the site has reached 750,000 since its launch four weeks ago.
**Cole Real Estate Welcomes Addition to MSCI US REIT Index**
Phoenix-based net-lease REIT, Cole Real Estate Investments (NYSE:COLE), was added to the MSCI U.S. REIT Index after the market closed yesterday. The addition to the index came only two weeks after its flotation on the NYSE and takes the total number of REITs in the MSCI U.S. REIT Index to 126.
Cole’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Jeff Holland, said in a statement prior to the official addition of the company to the index: “Broad-based index inclusion is a reasonable expectation given our asset size, portfolio quality and shareholder liquidity. Major index providers like MSCI, Russell, S&P, Dow Jones and others offer indices based on sector, market capitalization and geography.”
**Parkway Life REIT to Buy Two Japan Assets**
Parkway Trust Management Limited, the manager of Parkway Life Real Estate Investment Trust (SGX:C2PU), announced yesterday that it will be making two further acquisitions in Japan as part of plans to continue growing its Japanese portfolio, which currently includes 33 quality healthcare properties.
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Yong Yean Chau, Chief Executive Officer of the manager, said in a statement: “With Abenomics afoot and the Japan government’s support for the healthcare industry boosting interest in aged care facilities, this sector looks set to continue growing.”
The Singapore company, one of Asia’s largest listed healthcare REITs, further revealed that the assets would be bought at attractive capitalisation rates and at a combined purchase price of approximately S$23.1 million (£12 million).
**The British Land share price in London was up 3.22 percent at 587.75p as of 04.07.2013, 15:57 BST.**
**The Cole Real Estate Investments share price in New York was 1.48 percent higher at $11.62 at the close of trading on 03.07.2013.**
**The Parkway Life share price was 0.42 percent down at S$2.36 at the close of trading in Singapore on 04.07.2013.**