Belfast Telegraph

NI investment firm in acquisition of £60m Dundee property portfolio

Retail asset: West Marketgait
Retail asset: West Marketgait
Margaret Canning

By Margaret Canning

A Northern Ireland property investment firm has acquired a £60m portfolio in Dundee made up of 1.3 million square foot of assets.

Lotus Property, which is part of a wider group with interests including retail and housebuilding, said it regarded the Scottish city as a key area for regeneration, citing factors including the arrival of a new Victoria & Albert Museum.

The portfolio of 45 properties includes assets in Marketgait/West Marketgait, Wester Gourdie Industrial Estate and Dunsinane Industrial Estate.

Around 60% of the assets are industrial, although there are also some mixed use, retail, leisure and residential elements.

Alastair Coulson, managing director of Lotus Property, is from Dundee and said he was "very excited" about the opportunities presented by the acquisition.

"We have been monitoring what is happening here over the last three years and we have seen major positive changes taking place," he said.

"Dundee is going through a really exciting and significant period of regeneration and we consider the city to be a key growth area in the UK.

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"There is the waterfront regeneration, including the V&A which is bringing an international focus.

Combine this with Dundee being a world leading centre of specialist technology, it is a city which is evolving, with a growing population and a desire to stand at the forefront of innovation in Scotland.

"I am confident Dundee will become one of the UK's next property investment hotspots."

The Marketgait asset is a mix of offices, leisure and retail in the city centre, with tenants including Travelodge, Pure Gym, Grosvenor Casinos and Tesco Stores Ltd.

Lotus Property is a major Banbridge-based property investment company with a 20-strong team.

It is part of the wider Lotus Group, which also owns retail parks The Junction in Antrim and the Boulevard in Banbridge.

Mr Coulson added: "The composition of the portfolio is very similar to the portfolio which we own in Northern Ireland, and coupled with the positive historic experience, market intelligence and network we have in Scotland, this first investment of ours in Dundee is a great platform to build on."

By making a major acquisition in Scotland, Lotus Property is following in the footsteps of fellow Northern Ireland property firm, Wirefox.

In May last year, Wirefox announced a £35m deal to take on nine buildings covering 400,000sq ft of office space close to Glasgow. In 2016, it bought Southergate Centre, a major retail-led asset in Dumfries town centre.

And it also paid £18m for Silvan House in Edinburgh, which is let to the Scottish government.

Wirefox also bought CastleCourt shopping centre in Belfast for £125m.

Belfast Telegraph