Keighley’s Airedale shopping centre has been sold for £22 million to an international investment company.
LaSalle Investment Management has revealed that it has bought the 45-year-old centre.
The company said it was already in discussion with several retailers about letting units within the 184,000 sq ft complex.
The centre has 84 retail units and a 460-space multi-storey car park and attracts 8.3 million people a year through its doors.
Gavin Ingram, LaSalle’s associate director, said: “The Airedale Centre, Keighley, represents an opportunity to invest in a dominant shopping centre that encompasses the main retail pitch in the centre of the town.
“Competition is limited and the local catchment is very loyal. We are already in discussion with several retailers regarding new lettings within the scheme.”
The centre’s proximity to the Leeds City College’s Keighley Campus, the railway station and a primary retail catchment area of 68,000 people, made it an attractive proposition for the buyer..
The company says the centre’s retail provision is characterised by national multiples including Next, Boots, WH Smith, Argos and JD Sports.
It is unknown how the purchase affects the Airedale centre’s existing plans to extend three of its stores into the former Laycock’s warehouse, which runs between the centre and North Street.
In 2010 the Airedale Centre was bought for an undisclosed sum by London-based investment company Delancey as part of its acquisition of the Blade portfolio.
It is understood that LaSalle Investment Management bought the Airedale centre from the Royal Bank of Scotland.
In coming years the Airedale centre shops will face competition from the planned £30 million Worth Valley Shopping Centre, due to be built in nearby East Parade.
Soon after the new centre was announced last year, Airedale Centre’s then leaseholders Propinvest claimed it would take money and jobs out of the town centre.
They feared flagship retailers in the Airedale Centre would move to the new centre, sparking a downward spiral of empty shops.