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LONDON-Hammerson has sold the 300,000-sf Freshney Place shopping centre in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, to the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor for a net £98.9 million ($151 million).

The mall includes virtually all of the prime retailing in the port of Grimsby, generating a gross rental income of £7.8 million ($11.5 million) per annum. Built in the 1970s and refurbished in 1991, Freshney Place has 100 shops, anchored by Bhs, Boots & WH Smith, plus a 1,050-space car park. The latest lettings include Next, which took over the former C&A store and HMV which last month took a new unit created by the combination of two former Arcadia stores.

Hammerson Chief Executive John Richards made it clear that the sale did not represent any lessening of Hammerson’s commitment to the shopping centre sector, where it is one of Europe’s leading players. He said the deal “represents a good opportunity for the group to realise the value of its investment in Freshney Place. We shall use the proceeds to fund our continuing development programme, which includes Bullring in Birmingham and other inner city regeneration projects,” he said.

This year Hammerson has bought The Shires in Leicester and Parinor near Paris, leaving it with a £2.1 billion ($3.2 billion) shopping centre portfolio made up of 20 centres, providing more than 10 million sf of floorspace.

Hammerson was advised by Savills and Donaldsons and the purchaser was represented by Jones Lang LaSalle.

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