COMPETITION from the city’s £1bn Liverpool One retail centre was behind the decision by Land Securities to sell St John’s shopping centre in March this year.
The former owner, Britain’s biggest landlord, announced it had sold the centre, which dates back to 1969, to London property funds company InfraRed Capital Partners for £76.6m on March 21.
In its annual results yesterday Land Securities explained its decision, saying: “We sold St John’s, Liverpool, for £76.6m, as we felt the opportunity for significant improvement had receded due to competition from Liverpool One.”
Land Securities unveiled plans for a £100m revamp of St John’s in 2007 with work set to start in autumn 2008, shortly after the opening of Liverpool One.
But the plans were withdrawn as the downturn hit shoppers’ pockets and the availability of funds to finance the work.
The company, which still owns the neighbouring Clayton Square shopping centre, reported a 58% fall in annual pre-tax profits yesterday, from £1.23bn in 2011 to £515.7m for this year to March 31.
Revenue profit, which the group says shows its underlying pre-tax levels, rose 9% to £299.4m.