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PEEL HOLDINGS GRABS SALFORD QUAYS LOWRY OUTLET MALL
 

Star date: 14th August 2012

LOWRY OUTLET MALL SOLD AS SALFORD COUNCIL RETAINS LAND…but is it the end of free parking? 

The Lowry Outlet Mall, which stands on land owned by Salford Council, has been sold by the Emerson Group to Peel Holdings. The future of the Mall, estimated to bring in around £1million in ground rents to the Council, is uncertain, as Peel plans to massively extend its MediaCityUK operation, while retail space on the Quays is set to increase fivefold.

Full story here…


The Lowry Outlet Mall and its car park has been sold for a reported £70million to Peel Holdings, the same amount that it cost to build the place over ten years ago.

The Mall, a partnership between Orbit Developments (part of the Emerson Group) and Salford City Council, is estimated to bring in around £1million a year in ground rent which is used to subsidise The Lowry arts centre, as former Salford Council Leader John Merry told the Salford Star in 2006…

"We make over the rent from the shopping mall, which we own" he said [in not very good English] "The ground rent we get from that we pass over to the Lowry…"

Today, a Salford Council spokesperson told the Star that the land itself hasn't been sold to Peel and that the Council still owns the freehold to the site. The Council didn't answer our question on whether there was to be a partnership agreement between itself and Peel for any future development, only stating that "We would need to be consulted on any redevelopment plans for the site but we haven't received any plans as yet."

Quite where the Outlet Mall fits into Peel's strategy for Salford Quays and MediaCityUK is unclear, except maybe to wipe out all competition, as the developer has its own plans for a massive commercial and retail expansion of Media City.

Peel also owns a very expensive car park behind its studios, in competition with the current Mall car park which allows free parking for anyone using its shops, bars and cinema. Expect this to end.

While, according to a Salford Council report, only 2.1% of Salford residents used the Mall, a press release issued by Peel Holdings yesterday stated that it had "just over 4.7 million visitors in 2011" and that "sales were up 11% year-on-year while footfall has increased by 14%".

The Salford Star tried to contact the Emerson Group for a comment on why, in the face of such `great' figures, it had sold the Mall so cheaply (£70m to build and sold for £70m) to its competitor but were told that at the moment they "had nothing to say".

A statement put out yesterday by Peter Jones, Chairman of The Emerson Group, thanked "loyal customers and tenants", adding "We wish the Peel Group every success with the Mall…who, of course, have a great deal of flair and energy which has transformed the Quays."

In the same press release, John Whittaker, Chairman of the Peel Group, said: "We are delighted to have secured a deal with Emerson for the purchase of The Lowry Outlet Mall. This is an important strategic acquisition for us and continues to extend the MediaCityUK community across the Quays from the BBC and ITV as well as the new tenants moving into MediaCityUK. The Mall complements MediaCityUK perfectly and will give us the opportunity to look at the most effective ways of increasing visitor numbers and enhancing the experience for customers."

Salford Council is proposing to allow a fivefold increase in retail areas on the Quays, from 2000sqm to 10,000sqm, while affording the Quays new `town centre' status, exempting it from many planning rules.

Meanwhile, Peel Holdings is set to grab another piece of lucrative Salford, as part of its journey to exploit every square inch of financially viable land in the city. Eliminating all opposition as it goes…

mary ferrer wrote
at 22:03:47 on 18 August 2012
I pay ground rent to a company,but I don't think I would show up on their records as being in a partnership with them.Very fishy. Emerson rent the land,that is not a partnership. Think we need to ask more questions on this one.
 
Michael Felse wrote
at 20:31:18 on 18 August 2012
Hold my hand up here. Such ideas were part of the 50% council tax cut approach, in turning over none essential services to professional ownerships that can help create over 40,000 jobs in Salford while cutting out Council red tape expensive services. The professional effect, by selling on established icons like the Outlet Mall, would be to also offer options to the seller, The Emerson Group being an expert housing developer should be encouraged to invest their sale proceeds into Salford affordable housing. I applaud our Labour Council for taking on board one of my Mayoral ideas, to engage fully with the private sector, but I now aPEEL to the Mayor to ensure wealth creation is not allowed to escape.
 
Salford Star wrote
at 20:30:42 on 18 August 2012
See Mary's comment below... Salford Council owns the land, while Emerson own the Mall but it states clearly on Emerson's website that there's a `partnership', and the Council say that it's `misleading' to state that ie there isn't a partnership. Net records don't go back long enough to check it. Perhaps you can shed some light on this!
 
mary ferrer wrote
at 19:47:10 on 18 August 2012
You say the council were in partnership with the Emerson Group.What sort of partnership do you mean the land (ground rent) or did we invest in the building of the Mall.If that's the case will we see some money returned to the City?? I don't understand why this council has such a love for Peel,if they want it, they seem to get it.
 
Irwell Running Through Me wrote
at 15:34:04 on 17 August 2012
Peel is now the biggest landowner in Salford. Odd that a so called Labour council has allowed this state of affairs to take place.//It seems as though they have taken it upon themselves to further re-interpret Blair's back door Tory version of Clause 4 to something more like: - 'The Labour Party is a (ha ha)democratic socialist party. It believes that by the strength of our common endeavour (with big business) we can achieve a much better personal bank balance than we can achieve by staying true to our Socialist roots, so as to create for each of us Assistant Mayors the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of us, not the idiot tax payers, where the rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.//Wankers!
 
Peter Davies wrote
at 19:55:35 on 16 August 2012
This is yet another blow delivered by our beloved council buddies, they are to also make Salix Homes an independant company with no local govmt connections so they can transfer all Ordsall housing stock to the new company. We must be bloody mad to keep electing these bozos.
 
Gareth L wrote
at 19:55:10 on 16 August 2012
Should I just pay my council Tax to Peel and not bother with the clowncil?
 
Nachtschlepper wrote
at 22:56:30 on 14 August 2012
They may well invest in redevelopment, but with who's money? Hide your wallets, Peel are at it again.
 
UoS wrote
at 19:30:58 on 14 August 2012
"Grabs" is such an animated word. Another way of putting it would be "have lawfully purchased a building".
 
iworkhere wrote
at 15:35:52 on 14 August 2012
About time..... maybe Peel Holdings will invest more money in the re-development and maintenance of the Lowry Outlet Mall, bringing in new and exciting shops! It's currently a laughing stock, with the long list of shops that last all of 6 months! On top of the fact that half the shops that do arrive have never been heard of before!
 
salfordjc wrote
at 13:13:08 on 14 August 2012
another part of Salford now under Peel control ..........when will we see Salford renamed to Peeldomshire we have to stop these people............. they owe no allegiance to Salford only to their god PROFIT,,,,,,and the weak willed Salford Council stand by and let it happen,,,,,,,,,,,
 
Peter Tully wrote
at 13:13:02 on 14 August 2012
"Sold down the river (or Canal)! Salford Council at it yet again. Why oh why sell something that is an asset to Salford? And to Peel Holdings. Soon Salford will be Peelford!
 
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