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Moorfield Secures Iconic West Riding House Leeds

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Moorfield Group (Moorfield), on behalf of the Moorfield Real Estate Fund II (MREF II), has today confirmed the acquisition of West Riding House, the landmark city centre building in the heart of Leeds.

With high street frontages to Bond Street and Albion Street, the investment includes 64,000 sq ft of prime retail space and 76,000 sq ft of offices, supported by a 440 space multi-storey car park.

The opportunity was identified through Moorfield's joint venture partnership with Leeds based Holbeck Land Limited. The partnership, announced in July 2010, seeks to identify investment and development opportunities in the Yorkshire and Humberside region for MREF II, a geared fund which raised approximately £400m of private equity on closing at the end of 2007.

Speaking about the acquisition, Marc Gilbard, chief executive of Moorfield, commented "A scheme of this size in such a prime location made West Riding House a very interesting investment opportunity. There is the scope to further asset manage this building by attracting new occupiers and exploring the opportunity to extend existing facilities."  

Ian Barraclough of Holbeck Land added "With founder directors Robert Firth and Freddie Coupe we have a longstanding association with the building and our appointment to work alongside Moorfield as joint asset managers provides the opportunity to combine our knowledge and skills to enhance the performance and efficiency of the investment."

GVA was responsible for the sale of the property, after Andrew Rodger and Roger Phillips from GVA were appointed as Law of Property Act (LPA) Receivers by Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Limited in 2010.

Andrew Foster, director at GVA's Leeds office said "This is a monumental deal for GVA given that it was the largest LPA appointment any firm has handled in Leeds in recent years.

"We were confident, given its prime city centre location, the fact there isn't a lot of stock of this lot size anywhere in Leeds and the fact that the investment market is now more buoyant, that West Riding House would attract significant interest."

Savills acted on behalf of Moorfield Group.

Simon Lister, director at Savills Leeds office adds: "This deal represents a unique and significant transaction for the Leeds market and offers a great opportunity for Moorfield and Holbeck Land to unlock the potential of this asset."