THE new owner of Liverpool’s St John’s shopping centre sees it as a long-term investment, and pledged to work with the council to improve the city centre.
Former owner Land Securities planned to spend £100m refurbishing the site, but shelved the scheme in 2008 as the economy deteriorated.
Yesterday Land Securities announced the sale of St John’s for £76.5m to London-based property fund InfraRed Capital Partners in a deal which should be completed next month.
InfraRed has no intention of resurrecting a refurbishment on such an ambitious scale, but director Chris Huxtable told the Liverpool Post that it will deliver improvements over the longer term.
He said: “The reason why they (Land Securities) had to shelve it was it was uneconomic.
“The current environment hasn’t got that much better, so the scale of what they were proposing would be difficult to achieve.
“But we specialise in repositioning and enhancing real estate assets, and that is what we would look to do with St John’s.
“It has got a loyal and large shopping population but we see, as Land Securities did, that it could do with a bit of money spent on it to improve and enhance what is there and we will be doing that.
“But we have to do it in a way that works in the current economic environment.”