Town Centre Securities celebrates major investment project milestone

January2018

TCS successfully completes £70m investment in the Merrion Centre

Town Centre Securities (TCS), the leading Leeds and London based property investment and development company, has successfully completed a £70m, ten year development and improvement project for its largest asset, the Merrion Centre in Leeds.

Town Centre Securities (TCS), the leading Leeds and London based property investment and development company, has successfully completed a £70m, ten year development and improvement project for its largest asset, the Merrion Centre in Leeds.

In 2007, TCS announced it would be spending £70m on refurbishing and redeveloping the 1m+ sq ft leading mixed-use scheme in the heart of Leeds. Now the project has been completed, TCS will be revealing a further development plan for the centre in the near future.

The initial 10 year project included increasing the total space available, attracting a number of household brands and establishing the burgeoning Arena Quarter. TCS completed refurbishments and large-scale redevelopments at the centre in order to improve the customer experience, increase total retail, leisure and office space and ensure the centre meets the needs of its customers.

Merrion Centre is already seeing the benefits of the programme, with footfall continuing to increase with 11.5m shoppers passing through its doors in 2017 (going against the national falling average). The centre recorded its most successful quarter to date with more than 3.5m people visiting in the last three months of the year, an increase of 65,000 shoppers from the same period last year.

The program included the redevelopment of the former Merrion Hotel into a new, contemporary 134-bedroomed ibis Styles with adjoining Marco Pierre White’s New York Italian restaurant and bar.

Alongside this, a major overhaul of the multi-storey, 1000 space CitiPark car park, and a £9m investment and refurbishment of Town Centre House (which was awarded a BREEAM Excellent office rating), was delivered.

The most significant investment project is set for completion in the first quarter of this year and will be Leeds’ largest pre-let to date. The refurbishment and extension of the iconic original 1970’s Merrion House building, which has received an investment of £35m has been undertaken in a joint venture with Leeds City Council which will see Merrion House as one of a reduced number of city centre based offices.

Helen Green, Associate Director at TCS, owner of Merrion Centre, said: “We’re delighted to have successfully completed our initial ten year programme to regenerate Merrion Centre.

“The centre is a key part of the Leeds and Yorkshire property landscape and we have ensured that we continue to make it a key destination for residents and visitors by updating and adding to our already strong offering.

“We’ve put our fantastic location within the Arena Quarter to good use, hosting high profile events to attract visitors and ensure there’s always something exciting happening to support and make the most of the amazing refurbishments and redevelopments we have completed within the last ten years.”

“We’ve put our fantastic location within the Arena Quarter to good use, hosting high profile events to attract visitors and ensure there’s always something exciting happening to support and make the most of the amazing refurbishments and redevelopments we have completed within the last ten years.”

Along with the First Direct Arena, the Merrion Centre, which is the city’s longest-standing shopping mall, has also been a strong driver for the regeneration of the Arena Quarter, and was recognised for this hard work by being presented with the Yorkshire Property Awards 2017 Game Changer award.

The centre opened its doors to a range of additional and expanding tenants over this period, including a ‘new look’ Morrisons with standalone customer café, Puregym, Costa Coffee, Home Bargains and a range of food outlets including Burger King and Smoke BBQ. Tenants still continu to thrive, with the Leeds United store recently celebrating their first anniversary, and MyThai being crowned as the Best Restaurant in Leeds.

Edward Ziff OBE, Chairman and Chief Executive of TCS, said: “The past decade saw some challenges to the retail industry, coupled with uncertainties around Brexit and a weaker pound which have all taken a toll on shopper confidence. However, we anticipated change and kick started plans in 2007 to ensure we’re catering for our customers by providing continuous choice and quality through our offering.

“Now we have completed this 10 year strategy, we’re keen to keep the momentum going and will be announcing investment plans for our second stage of redevelopment very soon. We have a vested interest in Leeds city centre, and the Arena Quarter in particular, and look forward to another prosperous year in 2018.”

Merrion Centre

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Merrion House

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Town Centre House

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Arena Quarter

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