Law firm Shoosmiths has advised AEW Europe (AEW) on a new landmark letting of an anchor store to existing tenant Next at Basingstoke's Festival Place shopping centre.
Next is increasing the size of its presence at Festival Place by relocating within the centre to a brand new two-floor store, almost doubling its floor space to c. 48,000 sq ft. The new store, which is expected to open in Q4 2016, will enable the brand to better showcase its extensive fashion, kidswear and Next Home ranges, and will also include a café within the store.
This is the biggest leasing transaction to take place at the shopping centre this decade. It is the first in a series of asset management initiatives planned by AEW Europe, following the acquisition of the centre in December 2015 on behalf of its partnership with the Teacher Retirement System of Texas. These initiatives include further new lettings and substantial improvements to St John's Square and to the car parking facilities.
Shoosmiths real estate partner Nathan Rees advised on all legal aspects relating to the letting and was supported by senior associates Marcus Devanny (real estate) and Neil Armstrong (construction).
Shoosmiths' Nathan Rees commented: 'We were delighted to be given the opportunity to assist AEW on this significant letting. This new store will be a fantastic addition to the centre and we also look forward to working with the client on their other asset management initiatives which will further improve the retail offer at the scheme.'
AEW were also advised by co-leasing agents Lunson Mitchenall and Cushman & Wakefield.
Shoosmiths' real estate group is one of the largest in the UK, made up of teams advising on real estate, construction, planning, property litigation, and environmental issues.
Shoosmiths' clients include commercial and residential developers, investors, retail and leisure operators, social housing bodies, major corporate occupiers, banks and other funders and a range of public sector bodies.