A 0.9 acre former Royal Mail site in Berkhamsted has been acquired by property firm Metric Property Investments, and high street retailer Marks & Spencer (M&S) is set to open a new store on the plot.
M&S has signed a 20-year lease on 80 per cent of the proposed development for its Simply Food format, while the remaining space will be taken up by high quality restaurant occupiers.
Metric paid £2.55 million to purchase the site, which is located on Berkhamsted High Street and lies adjacent to the town centre car park and a Waitrose supermarket, and will invest a further £5 million to create the new retail space.
Clem Constantine, Director of Property at M&S, commented: “This is an exciting opportunity for M&S and we look forward to bringing a new modern Simply Food format to Berkhamsted.
“In partnership with Metric we aim to deliver a high quality food offer to our customers as well as enhance the look and feel of this end of the High Street.”
A public consultation over the plans will be conducted over the next couple of weeks and a full planning application is expected to be submitted before the summer.
The development is expected to have an estimated rental value of £550,000 per annum, which should generate a yield on cost of more than seven per cent.
Andre Jones, CEO of Metric, said: “Berkhamsted represents our first high street acquisition and is another exciting short-cycle development opportunity for Metric.
“The development will showcase the changing demand from retailers for larger, more efficient floor-plates on the high street. This opportunity also represents Metric’s first ‘partnering’ deal with M&S that will satisfy its long standing requirement for a modern store in Berkhamsted.”