News - Northern Ireland

A leading commercial property agency in Northern Ireland has strengthened its Investment team in response to continued growth within the sector which is expected to turnover in excess of £300 million locally in 2015.

Lisney in Northern Ireland has appointed current Retail Director, Nicky Finnieston as Director of Investment and Retail as Andrew Marsden is set to leave the firm after 21 years to pursue interests beyond commercial property.

Declan Flynn, Managing Director of Lisney Northern Ireland which also specialises in office, retail, leisure and industrial property acquisition and disposal, commented:

“Last year in Northern Ireland bank deleveraging contributed to the vast majority of property investment transactions circa £400 million.

“For 2015, we expected transaction levels to fall due to the limited supply of investment properties. It is therefore encouraging that we are on course to achieve a transaction value in excess of £300 million, a figure much higher than first anticipated.

“Purchasers of the 2014 loan books are emerging as the key sellers in 2015, and the current appetite for property from local, UK and even international investors would suggest that this will continue into 2016.

“Andrew and Nicky have worked closely on more than £70 million of notable deals so far this year including the acquisition of Erneside Shopping Centre in Enniskillen, the sale of Boots on Belfast’s Royal Avenue and the acquisition of The Parkway Shopping Centre in Coulby, Newham in England.

“Now is the perfect time for us to combine the Retail and Investment division and utilise Nicky’s wealth of experience and relationships with key stakeholders, and the renewed energy and focus he brings to the team.

“Andrew has been instrumental in driving the Investment side of our business and will continue to work closely with Lisney going forward. On a personal note I would like to thank him for his hard work over many years and for his commitment to ensuring a seamless transition as he looks to move on to pastures new.”

Nicky Finnieston said:

“Andrew Marsden’s intelligent and strategic direction through the recession, and its somewhat turbulent aftermath, has secured us a position at the forefront of the sector. With the market normalising and our impressive portfolio of significant deals, we will continue to offer an unrivalled service to major investors and banks locally, within the UK and beyond, and are ready to act on their behalf.

“In May of this year, we advised on the acquisition of Erneside Shopping Centre which sold for £34 million. The scheme, which generates an annual rent of circa £3 million, hosting retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Next and River Island, was acquired by Tristan Capital Partners and Ellandi, the UK’s leading specialist shopping centre investor.

“Whilst this was Ellandi’s first acquisition in Northern Ireland, their announcement in July of plans to build a portfolio of community shopping centres in partnership with the Bridges Property Alternatives Fund III, managed by specialist sustainable and impact investor Bridges Ventures Bridges Ventures, could generate further interest within the local market.

“Most recently we have represented both Ellandi and Bridges Ventures on their acquisition of the Parkway Shopping Centre in Coulby Newham, Middlesbrough, which is testament to our knowledge of the market and the client’s trust within Lisney to deliver.

“Whilst based in Belfast, our experience and capabilities, and indeed clients, extend far beyond these shores. I look forward to taking advantage of the current opportunities within the sector and further building on the team’s current success.

“I expect to strengthen the Investment team further over the coming weeks with recruitment in a number of senior positions.”

Andrew Marsden said:

“Whilst I am leaving Lisney after 21 years to pursue other interests, I do so in the knowledge that there is a strong team in place which will grow and take the business forward. The team at Lisney are my friends and I wish Nicky and everyone at Lisney continued success in the future.”

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