UK-focused shopping centre real estate investment trust Capital & Regional has formed a residential development partnership with Far East Consortium (FEC).

Capital & Regional is working with a subsidiary of FEC, over the next 18 months, to identify and bring forward the development of new residential opportunities across Capital & Regional’s shopping centre portfolio.

Capital & Regional said the partnership intends to facilitate projects that will enhance asset value and/or generate potential land receipts for Capital & Regional.

The venture will also assess where community retail and services might be added to FEC’s existing portfolio and pipeline, “as well as seek new projects where the collective expertise and resources of the partnership could be utilised”.

Capital & Regional owns seven shopping centres in Blackburn, Hemel Hempstead, Ilford, Luton, Maidstone, Walthamstow and Wood Green.

FEC is an international real estate developer, specialising in residential, hotel and mixed-use developments in the UK, Asia and Australia.

In March this year, Capital & Regional announced plans to convert underutilised car parks and shopping centres at Luton and Wood Green into mixed-use neighbourhood hubs via a partnership with REEF Technology.

REEF operates mobility, logistics hubs and neighbourhood kitchens in the US, Canada, and has a growing presence in Europe, likened to a WeWork for local retailers and restaurants.

Capital & Regional said the partnership with FEC is a continuation of its strategy to reposition its assets to meet the “structural changes in retail and the shift to community and sustainable 15-minute neighbourhoods”.

As part of this, the group has already looked to extract value from the portfolio in a variety of ways.

“These have included the successful disposal of an adjoining land plot at Wood Green for residential development and our progress in securing a significant residential-led planning consent at Walthamstow, which will see the development of 495 build-to-rent apartments in the heart of the town centre,” Capital & Regional said.

Lawrence Hutchings, CEO of Capital & Regional said: “Both FEC’s and our own management team recognise the importance of sustainable mixed-use urban environments that enhance the sense of place and serve their local communities.

“The combination of our existing skills and resources will help to unlock further opportunities to create these across, and potentially beyond, our existing estate.”

Chris Hoong, managing director at Far East Consortium, said: “We have identified two immediate potential opportunities and will work closely with Capital & Regional to explore how we might jointly deliver high-quality residential properties within their London portfolio, which are already well served by existing retail amenities and transport links.

“Residential developments also provide additional clientele to retail properties and enhance existing communities and therefore help drive income of occupiers.”

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