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Downe Retail Park put on market for £17m in latest sell-off by vulture fund Cerberus

By John Mulgrew

Downe Retail Park located outside Downpatrick has gone on the market for £17m.

It's understood that the commercial property firm Lambert Smith Hampton has been appointed to sell off the park.

The park features a range of stores, and is anchored by an Asda store, Poundstretcher, Peacocks, Harry Corry and New Look.

Other stores include Argos, Halfords, Costa Coffee and McDonald's.

Lambert Smith Hampton did not wish to comment on the sale.

The business was formerly owned by property developer John Miskelly.

And it's the latest retail business to be sold off by vulture fund Cerberus as part of assets it picked up in the £1.2bn Project Eagle loan book deal with Nama.

It's also one of a number of parks and major shopping centres to go on the market in Northern Ireland over the course of the last year.

In January, the Belfast Telegraph revealed that Junction One and The Outlet were being sold in a deal worth £40m.

At the end of last year, Bangor shopping centre Bloomfield was sold for £54.5m to London investment firm Ellandi and Tristan Capital Partners.

Other deals included Fairhill in Ballymena, which went for more than £45m, while the Showgrounds Retail Park in Omagh was sold for £27m.

Ellandi and Tristan Capital Partners also snapped up Enniskillen's Erneside Shopping Centre last year.

Banbridge-based Lotus Group and investment firm Tristan Capital Partners purchased Antrim's Junction One and Banbridge's The Outlet, with the deal finally going over the line earlier this month.

But the retail parks were originally put on the market for around £60m. Both have faced their own problems over the years.

Junction One was set up in 2004, boasting a range of big names. But its value has dropped significantly since then.

Banbridge's The Outlet was opened in 2007 at a cost of £70m and counts a number of big-name brands among its tenants, including Marks & Spencer.

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