Leeds based property investment and development company, Town Centre Securities PLC (TCS), has acquired 6/7 Park Row, a Leeds city centre landmark office building, for £7m. The property was sold by AXA Real Estate, on behalf of its client Co-Operative Insurance Society Ltd. Property agents Jones Lang LaSalle acted for AXA and Peter Lund and Partners for Town Centre Securities.

The iconic granite clad building occupies a prominent site on the corner of Park Row and Bond Street in the heart of the commercial and financial centre and is adjacent to the new Trinity shopping centre. Built in the early 1970s to Grade A standards by Lloyds Bank as its regional headquarters, the 45,000 sq ft mixed-use property includes a large retail banking hall on the ground floor with seven floors of office accommodation above, accessed from Park Row. The property is leased in its entirety to Lloyds TSB Bank with just under 4 years unexpired.

Edward Ziff, Chairman and Chief Executive of Town Centre Securities (TCS) said “We are delighted to have purchased this well-known building in Leeds. Real estate like this rarely comes to the market. This is only the second time it has been sold in its history and we believe it will provide TCS with good initial cash flow and future potential opportunities. Although overall we are maintaining a cautious attitude given the economic background, we are prepared to be opportunistic and acquire prime income generating properties in cities where we know the market such as Leeds. The acquisition fits our strategy of continuing to prioritise asset management initiatives within our portfolio whilst maintaining income generation at a level that sustains the business for our shareholders.”

Commenting on the acquisition, Colin Goodwin, Senior Fund Manager at AXA Real Estate, said: “This disposal demonstrates that there is a still clear demand for well-let, income producing offices in the UK’s major cities and, as the second regional office sale secured on behalf of The Co-operative Insurance in quick succession, it provides us with further capacity to rebalance its portfolio.”

Andrew Summersgill, director of investment at Jones Lang LaSalle, who advised AXA, added: “Adverse market conditions continue to suppress appetite for regional assets with shorter term income as a whole; this sale, however, demonstrates that investors will continue to compete for prime assets in core locations where the underlying fundamentals are strong.”

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