Trinity Leeds lettings increase as new phase starts

LAND Securities today said its £350m Trinity Leeds shopping scheme is on target "to be one of the most profitable developments we undertake this cycle" after revealing it is almost 65% let.

The developer said that 45% of the space at the 1m sq ft site had been let, with a further 12% in solicitors' hands and another 8% in negotiations.

Recent lettings include 12,000 sq ft at roof top level to international restaurant operator D&D, which is to open two restaurants at the scheme, which is set to open in 2013.

In a third quarter interim management announcement this morning, Land Securities said: "The scheme continues to attract substantial interest and with two years to completion and moving towards being 65% let, it remains on target to be one of the most profitable developments we undertake this cycle."

The update comes as a new phase of work at the Trinity Leeds shopping centre is set to start.

More than £10m is being invested in the transformation of Albion Street in Leeds, which will include a new glass walkway built above the shops at the northern end of the street.

The redevelopment work includes putting up temporary scaffolding beneath the link bridge at the midway point of Lower Albion Street and the removal of the existing bridge that spans the street.

Demolition works will start in February taking about six weeks and work on the new link bridge will start in the autumn.

Andrew Dudley, head of the project for Land Securities, said: "In the heart of this great city, we are delivering a 1m sq ft destination with a real wow factor. It will become a beacon for retail excellence on both an international and national scale.

"There will inevitably be some disruption, but we will do everything we can to keep this down to a minimum."

Land Securities said this morning that it had continued to execute its strategic plan based on the attractive returns offered by developments, building revenue profit through lettings and recycling assets to reshape its portfolio and open up further opportunities.

It said it had maintained high levels of activity across its London and retail portfolios.

Land Securities' chief executive, Francis Salway, said: "Our focus on executing the plans we laid out for the year is bearing fruit. Having initiated a large development programme, we are delighted to have achieved lettings on a number of projects which will drive both valuation surpluses and income growth.

"We expect a wider range of buying opportunities in 2011, although current flows of capital into the sector mean that bidding may remain competitive.

"The first quarter of 2011 is likely to see mixed news flow around the consumer and the economy, but we expect occupational demand from large corporates to remain steady."


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