NewRiver REIT acquires The Moor, Sheffield in BRAVO JV

The Moor Sheffield NRR

NewRiver REIT (NRR) has announced that its joint venture with BRAVO Strategies III LLC (BRAVO), in which it holds a 10% stake, has exchanged contracts to acquire The Moor, a 28 acre estate in Sheffield city centre. The estate is being acquired from CEP ASI UKPF Nominee 1 Limited and CEP ASI UKPF Nominee 2 Limited, for total consideration of £41.0 million, representing a capital value of £60 per sq ft. NRR’s share of the consideration will be satisfied from existing resources, with completion scheduled for 1 April 2021. NRRwill hold a 10% interest in the asset (NRR share: £4.1 million) and will benefit from 10% of the net rental income of £4.0 million per annum (NRR share: £0.4 million per annum). NRR will also be appointed as asset and development manager, in return for a management fee calculated with reference to the gross rental income and development costs of the asset, and will receive a promote based on financial performance.

About The Moor, Sheffield

The Moor estate is located in Sheffield city centre and is close to the city’s railway station, council offices, and both Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University. It is one of Sheffield’s designated city centre ‘quarters’ and NRR says that it has benefitted from significant private and public sector investment, which has established The Moor as the city’s primary retail and leisure destination.

Centred around an open-air pedestrianised thoroughfare, The Moor estate provides 680,000 sq ft of retail and leisure space anchored by Next, Sainsbury’s, and an occupier-owned Primark, alongside a 670-space car park, a nine-screen cinema and The Moor Market, a covered marketplace owned by Sheffield City Council. NRR says that the retail and leisure area has an affordable and therefore sustainable average rent of £13.90 per sq ft.

The Moor estate comprises 15 assets capable of being sold separately, which NRR highlights provides inherent liquidity and offers a range of mixed-use development opportunities. It also says that it has identified the potential to develop up to 1,100 build-to-rent residential units and up to 300 purpose-build student accommodation units, offering significant capital growth opportunities.

Purchased at a significant discount to breakup value

NRR says that the acquisition price of £41.0 million reflects a significant discount to the breakup value of these individual assets, as provided by an independent valuer. It also represents a net initial yield of 9.1%, which NRR says is expected to rise imminently following the completion of a number of leasing deals to 9.8%, with an equivalent yield of 11.3% and a reversionary yield of 14.6%.

Located next to the £470 million ‘Heart of the City II’ regeneration project

The Moor benefits from its adjacency to Sheffield City Council’s £470 million ‘Heart of the City II’ regeneration project, which is delivering a dynamic and vibrant mixed-use district in the city centre that connects all neighbouring quarters. The project aims to generate 7,000 jobs in the city by 2030 and has already seen the development of a five-storey office building, which is fully let to HSBC and CMS, and a commitment by John Lewis to a new 20-year lease and refurbishment of its city centre store.

Comments from Allan Lockhart, Chief Executive

“The acquisition of The Moor with our joint venture partner BRAVO represents a rare opportunity to acquire a 28 acre estate in one of the UK’s largest and fastest-growing cities, at a very attractive price which is far below the breakup value of the site. This acquisition will generate very attractive returns for NewRiver, driven by sustainable rental income and capital growth through the redevelopment of parts of the estate, principally for residential uses. Sheffield City Council has demonstrated that it is a forward-thinking and proactive local authority, and we look forward to working with them to deliver a vibrant and connected city centre. Taking a 10% stake ensures we maintain our financial discipline, as we remain on track to meet our target of £80 million to £100 million of disposals this financial year.”

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