10:30AM, Tuesday 16 July 2019
The council will sell its interests in the Nicholsons Centre to a French asset management and investment group for millions of pounds if given the green light.
A Royal Borough report, which will be considered at next Tuesday’s council meeting, recommends selling the council’s ‘freehold interest’ on the centre – the holder of which can grant leases to another person or business – to Tikehau Capital for £1million.
The council owns about 50 per cent of the centre’s freehold interest and is entitled to 15 per cent of net rental, which raised £87,727 in 2018/19 but in recent years was zero.
“In the current retail environment it is highly probable that this could again drop to zero as the loss of only a couple of shops would see income fall and vacant cost rise by enough to remove this income,” the report states.
The Royal Borough also holds a freehold interest in Central House, a vacant six-floor office building above the shopping centre, which will be sold for £5million.
“In line with shopping centres across the country the Nicholson’s Shopping Centre has seen a decline in footfall and consumer spending as consumer habits have been changing and consequently seen increasing vacancy levels and declining rental values as it has struggled to attract and retain retailers to an outmoded shopping destination,” the report states.
Tikehau’s plans for the site include housing and the area is expected to be redeveloped though a planning application has not been submitted.
The document also reveals that, following discussions and a public consultation with Tikehau’s partner Areli Real Estate, a new car park replacing the one in Broadway with a minimum of 1,035 spaces will be built.
The council will swap the current car park for a new plot of land within Tikehau’s scheme which can hold a larger car park.
The council’s sale of its freehold interest is subject to permission being granted for the French firm’s plans.
Council will meet next Tuesday at York House in Sheet Street, Windsor, from 7.30pm to vote on the recommendations.
Visit https://rbwm.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=134&MId=7394 to see the agenda.
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