New owner for shopping complex

IPSWICH'S Tower Ramparts shopping centre has a new owner today after a deal to sell the complex for more than £30m was sealed.The new owner is Kandahar (Ipswich) Ltd, an investment company, which is currently seeking to acquire interests in shopping centres around the UK.

IPSWICH'S Tower Ramparts shopping centre has a new owner today after a deal to sell the complex for more than £30m was sealed.

The new owner is Kandahar (Ipswich) Ltd, an investment company, which is currently seeking to acquire interests in shopping centres around the UK.

It is believed the business already has links to retail showcases in other areas of the country.

Nigel Watson, spokesman for Tower Ramparts' managing agents, ACR in Old Bond Street, London, confirmed the purchase has been completed.


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Mr Watson said: "The company that has purchased it is Kandahar (Ipswich) Ltd. Kandahar is a UK investment company that is growing and on the acquisition trail for a number of shopping centres. We will continue to be the managing agents of the centre in our existing role."

As reported last month the previous owners of Tower Ramparts, a German-based investment banking company, had received a bid to buy the 16,000 square metre centre within a month of putting in on the market.

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Contracts were exchanged shortly before Christmas and the completion of the deal took place late last month.

Mr Watson declined to give the exact figure the centre was purchased for, but did confirm it was in excess of £30m.

It is now likely changes will be made by the new owner as it tries to bring in fresh ideas and re-invigorate the complex.

He said: "Kandahar will be looking to hold Tower Ramparts as a long-term investment and to improve it. It has a number of ideas and will be looking to take those forward."

Tower Ramparts in Tavern Street has been one of Ipswich's prime retail sites since it opened in 1986. Originally owned by the Church Commissioners it has changed hands on a number of occasions throughout its 20-year history.

It was sold to London-based Pillar Property Investments in December 1991, before being purchased by Prudential, which paid £22.36m to buy the complex in the summer of 1995. The insurance giant held on to it for four years before accepting an offer of £24.3m in June 1999 from L&S Noe Trust.

Over the next three years Tower Ramparts was run by L&S Noe Trust's property investment company REIT Asset Management.

However in 2002 it sold the centre to a German investment company for a deal reputed to be in the region of £26m.

N What are your views on Tower Ramparts shopping centre? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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