Solihull Council has acquired ownership of the Mell Square holding company, which includes the ground lease interests and freeholds of a number of key commercial town centre properties. The move will allow the Council to continue to play an active role, with partners, in shaping the future of the town centre and deliver on a key aspect of its bold new Town Centre Masterplan.
Following indications from IM Properties that they wished to dispose of their Mell Square retail interest, early negotiations were entered into with the Council to ensure the best outcome for the town centre and the future long-term prosperity of an asset they had shown considerable commitment to over the years.
The acquisition, sees the Council add to its land holdings in the area, taking control of the entire Mell Square site as well as the company which operate the popular shopping location.
The terms agreed will see ownership of IM Properties’ existing portfolio of tenants and occupiers transferred to the Council, which has committed to support the current occupiers and ensure the site remains intact, paving the way for future regeneration opportunities.
The impetus behind acquisition is to protect the future of this strategically important site and to support the delivery of the Council’s bold new Town Centre Masterplan, a vital element of its UK Central programme.
Published in November 2020, Solihull’s Town Centre Masterplan provides a framework for future growth and development to maintain footfall and vibrancy of the town centre, identifying Mell Square as a key development site. By taking a wider view of upcoming developments and opportunities it aims to ensure effective planning for the future, which is now an even higher priority through the impact of the COVID pandemic.
The Masterplan identifies and outlines a number of development opportunities at Mell Square to enhance the current retail offer by bringing in new complementary uses to the area such as a residential and a more varied leisure offer.
A Solihull Council spokesperson said:
“Solihull Town Centre benefits from a proven track record of attracting high quality occupiers and investment, supporting a strong retail and residential market.
“The Council is determined to support the town centre by being an active partner in its future.”
All Mell Square leaseholders will continue operating under their current terms and the current asset management team will be kept in place to ensure consistency throughout the transition.