Sovereign snaps up Farnborough shopping centre for £17.6 million to create 350 homes

Sovereign snaps up Farnborough shopping centre for £17.6 million to create 350 homes

Sovereign Housing Association has bought the Princes Mead Shopping Centre and two adjacent retail assets in Farnborough for £17.6 million from Knight Frank Investment Management (KFIM), on behalf of Local Pensions Partnership Investments (LPPI).

The acquisition provides an opportunity for the 61,000-home housing association to bring forward a residential-led, mixed-use regeneration in the heart of Farnborough town centre, delivering more affordable housing across the south of England, while also marking a major purchase in the borough of Rushmoor. The 7.77 acre site offers significant mixed-use, mixed tenure, residential development potential with a masterplan to deliver over 350 new homes in the town centre.

The purchase is part of Sovereign’s strategy to meet the growing demand for affordable housing and contribute to the regeneration of towns and high streets; delivering quality homes in well-connected communities. The acquisition also responds to Sovereign’s ambitious investment strategy, which seeks opportunities to re-position high street and town centre regeneration.

The planned development sits at the heart of wider regeneration plans for Farnborough town centre, being brought forward by Rushmoor Borough Council and the Rushmoor Development Partnership. Their Civic Quarter masterplan incorporates a new leisure centre, civic hub and park, 1,000 new energy efficient homes, and new restaurant, food and beverage areas. The re-redevelopment of Princes Mead by Sovereign is able to be delivered before the first phase of these plans complete and give real impetus to the regeneration of the town.

Sovereign snaps up Farnborough shopping centre for £17.6 million to create 350 homes

The deal sees KFIM and LPPI remain involved in the development project as overage partners.

Tom Titherington, Chief Investment & Development Officer at Sovereign Housing Association said: “We are delighted to have acquired our second shopping centre, with a view to the longer-term regeneration potential of the site. As our high streets evolve, it becomes increasingly important for forward-thinking housing associations such as Sovereign to take a proactive role in regenerating our town centres, supporting our customers through the delivery of affordable homes and the successful re-imagination of our high streets.”

John Styles, Partner at Knight Frank Investment Management, said: “Having worked with Rushmoor to establish support for a substantial residential-led development scheme we are delighted to have sold the site to Sovereign Housing Association. We are confident that Sovereign will take the project forward maximising the benefits, particularly in terms of affordable housing provision for Farnborough.”

Adrian Peachey, Partner at Montagu Evans, said: “As town centres evolve and new partnerships – both public and private – are necessary to deliver on these opportunities, dynamic new types of investors are stepping forward.

“This is a deliverable development opportunity with strong alternative use value, which is supported by the local authority and forms part of their wider town centre regeneration plans. Farnborough has an active and growing residential market and this opportunity will help rebalance the town centre offer as well as meeting local housing demand.”

JLL, Ellandi and Winckworth Sherwood advised Sovereign. Montagu Evans and DWF Law advised KFIM.

About Sovereign

As one of the country’s largest housing associations, Sovereign manages over 61,000 homes and aims to build around 2,000 new homes every year. As part of a five-year strategy, Sovereign has trebled investment in community work, stepped up its development programme with a greater emphasis on major land-led schemes and focused on providing sustainable, affordable homes for nearly 140,000 customers and residents.