Beverly Hills buy-out boost for Spindles
Reporter: ROBBIE MACDONALD
Date online: 20 September 2013
A WIDE range of new retailers has been earmarked for Oldham — including the return of TJ Hughes — following the purchase of Spindles shopping centre by an American property firm.
The new stores could be in place by Christmas, with major refurbishment of the centre set for the new year.
Beverly Hills-based Kennedy Wilson has bought Spindles and Town Square shopping centre and seven other UK malls for £250 million.
The California firm owns Bury’s impressive town centre mall “The Rock.
In Oldham the company will focus on value and fashion stores, as well as new food and leisure operators. The company hopes to bring back TJ Hughes to a bigger store.
Kennedy Wilson is optimistic Spindles and Town Square can play key parts in Oldham’s wider regeneration.
The company’s UK asset management boss Steve Ferrell revealed the firm bought the malls from receivers.
He said: “We plan to invest in these centres and improve occupancy. In Oldham the centre has suffered from the recession and the tram works, and the previous landlord didn’t have the money to invest.
“We are working with Oldham Council to get more tenants and looking at the Town Square end, where the council hopes to redevelop the old town hall.
“We hope to create some leisure and restaurant areas, and some big space for retailers. We’re in talks with TJ Hughes to come back, along with other value retailers. Shoppers should see some new names in the near future.”
The Rock features trendy fashion brands such as Superdry and Bank, a 1,700 seat Vue cinema multiplex, a bowling alley and a gym, as wewll as restaurants such as Pizza Express, Barista and Burger King. There are also M&S and Debenhams cafes.
Mr Ferrell said: “We have improved shop occupancy levels at The Rock. A 10 per cent vacancy rate has been cut to three per cent. That shows what we can do.”
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