Centrale’s owners look for buyers in £1bn property fire sale

Times must be tough, even for the petro-chemical multi-zillionaires in Kuwait, as the owners of the Centrale shopping centre have put it up for sale in a £1 billion property fire sale.

The news was released quietly to the Sunday newspaper business desks.

According to the Independent on Sunday, St Martins Property Corporation, the London Bridge-based the property arm of the State of Kuwait, has instructed Savills to advise on the sale of properties across Europe.

Centrale, which has only been open since 2004, is one of five shopping centres up for sale.

The IoS said, “St Martins is understood to be carrying out the phased sale of the properties, which require active asset management, to raise funds to reinvest in larger, trophy assets in London and other key European cities.”

It might also just be that, in anticipation of a likely downturn in consumer spending with the Con-Dem government’s VAT hike in January, holding leisure and retail properties such as Centrale could be viewed as an unwanted burden.

Centrale was built around the site of the old Drummond Centre, across the road from Allder’s and the Whitgift Centre. The Drummond was notorious for not being fully occupied and being less attractive to shoppers.

While Centrale’s 820,000 sq ft houses prestigious branches of House of Fraser and Debenhams, the centre has never been fully occupied.

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News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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