Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland retail sites once part of Jermon empire on sale

By John Mulgrew

Two Northern Ireland retail parks have gone on the market with a combined value of more than £9m.

Laharna Retail Park in Larne is now on sale, with those selling the business looking for offers over £5.78m.

The site opened in 2003, and features a number of tenants including Argos, New Look, Peacocks, B&M Bargains and Carphone Warehouse.

The park is made up of a total of 10 retail units, along with a bingo hall. The park has a total of 191 car park spaces, with the entire site based across three acres.

Meanwhile, Strabane Shopping Park is also now on sale — and both are on the market through CBRE and Morgan Williams.

The Strabane site, which was developed in 2006, is also fully let and includes businesses such as Argos, New Look, Peacocks and Menarys.

The retail park is based over 23,317 sq ft and has 110 car park spaces, and is now on the market for offers over £3.29m.

It’s understood both retail sites are owned by UK investment fund Mansford.

Strabane Retail Park and Laharna Retail Park had previously been owned by Co Tyrone pharmacist-turned-developer Peter Dolan, as part of his Jermon Ltd empire.

Both were sold to London-based fund Mansford in 2011.

The Strabane site was previously on sale at £3.8m, while Laharna was on the market for £6.15m.

Jermon Ltd was founded in 1997 by Mr Dolan and wife Jacqueline.  The company was landlord for a number of key retail and office properties in Belfast.

These included the Scottish Mutual Building in Donegall Square South, HMV and TK Maxx in Donegall Arcade and Mothercare in Castle Place.

The company also owned retail properties in Dungannon. Tom Keenan of Keenan Corporate Finance was appointed administrator to Jermon Limited by First Trust and other banks in 2011.

Elsewhere, a number of large retail parks and shopping centres have changed hands here over the last 12 months.

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 in April.

However, 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.

Meanwhile, just last month work began on the redevelopment of the Westwood Shopping Centre in west Belfast, which will see seven new retail units being built.

The original mall is being demolished and replaced by open class one retail units.

Belfast Telegraph