LONDON-Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association has launched a limited partnership with specialist retail park investor Grantchester, giving it exposure to the UK out-of-town retail sector. To kickstart the new fund Grantchester has sold Teachers three parks in Birmingham, Norwich and Falkirk for £107.4 million ($157 million).

The three parks are Battery Retail Park, Birmingham; Central Retail Park, Falkirk and Sprowston Retail Park, Norwich. They comprise over 600,000 sf of prime space generating annual income of £6.24 million ($9.1 million). The final price paid depends on the progress of lettings at the Central Retail Park, Falkirk, but the maximum Teachers will pay is another £20 million ($29 million).

Under the terms of the joint venture, Grantchester will retain 25% of the rental income and will continue to manage the parks. Chief Executive Tim Walton said: ‘The joint venture will enable Grantchester to retain an interest in the future growth of these assets whilst reducing its equity commitment.’ This is the second such fund launched by the company. Earlier this year it launched Westchester, a joint venture with Tom Hunter’s West Coast Capital, which specialises in retail park development.

Laura McGrath, Managing Director responsible for TIAA’s European portfolio, said: ‘We believe retail warehousing in the UK is a resilient sector of the property market, and one which is poised to show strong renewed growth. These parks are already dominant within their catchments.’

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