Iain McLean and Paul Mason from DWF’s Real Estate team, advised London-based regeneration and development company, Squarestone, on a multi-million pound deal to give Ayr town centre a new lease of life after administrators, Begbies Traynor, sold its two shopping centres. Kyle Shopping Centre and Arran Mall went into administration in June 2013 after suffering a drop in footfall. Squarestone plans to turn the site into a "vibrant community hub".
The combined floor area of the two centres is 125,000 sq ft on a site that extends to about seven acres in the heart of Ayr. The Kyle Centre contains 30 shop units and Arran Mall has 23 units, along with more than 6,700 sq ft of office space. Current occupiers of the centres include Bon Marche, New Look, Barrhead Travel and Vision Express.
Squarestone co-founder Robert Sloss said: "This large site offers a significant regeneration opportunity and the prospect that a prominent part of Ayr, which has seen a serious lack of investment in recent years, will become once again a vibrant community hub."*
Joint administrator Paul Dounis said: "Since last summer, we have worked hard to make the shopping centres more attractive to potential purchasers, consolidating many of the existing tenancies and securing agreements with key tenants.
"This deal is great news for Ayr and we'd like to thank the council for their support in working with us to find a solution that benefits the local community by providing improved amenities and revitalising the local economy, so giving the town a brighter future."*
Iain McLean, who led the team at DWF said “It was great to be involved in this deal, our first major transaction for Squarestone and their investors. Regeneration of our town centres is vitally important to our economy. The Squarestone team and their advisors have ambitious plans and we are looking forward to building the relationship over the next couple of years as their vision turns into reality.”
Squarestone intends to submit its redevelopment plans by the end of the year.
* Source: BBC Scotland