Belfast Telegraph

Corbo nets £48m for retail park in strategy to raise 'war chest'

By Clare Weir

Northern Ireland's biggest property group has sold a Co Antrim retail park for £48m.

Corbo Properties, owned by Ballymena man Sam Morrison, has announced the sale of Longwood Road Retail Park in Newtownabbey to SWIP, on behalf of Scottish Widows Unit Fund.

In June, the company sold Damolly Retail park in Newry for £28.4m to Metric Property Investments and this month announced the £8.8m sale of a landmark building in Donegall Place ,which houses the city's main Marks and Spencers.

Corbo chief executive Stephen Kirkpatrick has said the company is amassing a "war chest" to expand the company's property portfolio across Britain.

Longwood Road is one of the largest non-food retail parks in Northern Ireland with over 200,000 sq ft of retail space.

The park houses the largest Matalan in Ireland and is now fully let.

A recent letting to Mothercare was followed up by new lettings to Dreams and to Home Bargains, the latter a new entrant to Northern Ireland.

James McLean, investment manager of SWIP, said that the fund previously owned a unit on the site which it sold to Corbo in 2004 and retained a pre-emption to purchase the retail park once developed.

"The retail park offers significant growth and added value initiatives in the future and it fits perfectly with our long-term investment strategy," said Mr McLean.