Praxis targets community malls

Counter-cyclical strategy leads to push into retail sector

Praxis Capital has bought the Blaydon shopping centre in Newcastle from Ellandi for £30m. The 120,000-sq ft suburban centre is anchored by a 70,000-sq ft Morrison’s supermarket and ancillary facilities include a public library and medical centre.
Praxis has bought three community centres in the last 12 months, taking its portfolio to eight.

Investment manager James Hewitt said: “We’ve been looking to increase our retail allocation since the back end of 2016, but it has taken time for the market to reprice itself. We are realistic about retail fundamentals and spend a lot of time interrogating the detail when underwriting individual schemes, but we don’t believe that all retail is in terminal decline.

“We stand ready to invest further as and when we can find the right centres, in the right location, at the right price, albeit there are still a lot of sellers in denial about the value of these assets, so patience is the key.”

Praxis was advised by Knight Frank, and Savills acted for Ellandi.

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