CC Land to add retail assets in London spending spree

Cheesegrater owner CC Land is broadening its investment horizon in the UK to include retail and shopping centre assets and is exploring further development opportunities.

As well as continuing its hunt for prime, income-producing central London offices, the Hong Kong-listed firm wants to take on more development following its £470m purchase of the Nine Elms Square residential scheme in August in partnership with R&F Properties.

The group’s deputy chairman and executive director Dickie Wong told Property Week that CC Land would also look to add exposure to the retail market, including the shopping centre sector, as it continues its spending spree in the UK.

“We are examining other development projects in London,” Wong said during a whistle-stop trip to London to inspect a handful of buildings last week ahead of its next major acquisition. In the pursuit of investment, we are looking for both income-producing assets and development opportunities providing they are quality products in prime locations.

“We are targeting high-quality residential, offices - and even retail and shopping centres. If we were to do that type of thing [retail], we would bring in a specialist stakeholder and work together. It is too risky to take on on
our own.

“If you undertake retail projects you have to have good knowledge of the lifestyle of people here and we don’t have that comprehensive knowledge yet.”

UK subsidiary

The firm has identified an office to base its UK subsidiary and has recently hired Resolution Property’s head of UK investment Adam Goldin to head the unit. It will look to have a 10-strong team in the near future.

Its next buy is likely to be another trophy central London office but Wong didn’t rule out taking on some office development risk.

“We are interested in any quality development projects, but the more substantial pre-leasing in place, the better,” he said.

Wong added that CC Land was not perturbed by the current economic and political uncertainty in the UK.

“We envisage some market volatility but we are positive about the long-term prospects of London and we are here for the long term,” he said.

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