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Old February 4th, 2011, 12:23 PM   #1
Steldemetriou
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The Mailbox Commercial Street Birmingham

Investors post interest in Birmingham’s Mailbox

Scheme’s retail element key to prospective purchasers’ bids

Mountgrange, Nurton Development with Moorfield, Westbrook and London & Stamford Property are lining up to buy Birmingham’s Mailbox.

Selling agents CB Richard Ellis and GVA Grimley began the marketing of the mixed-use scheme last week.
The price tag of £118m reflects a yield of 7.5% based on a “triple net income” – the income minus the cost of running the asset and collecting the rent.

One prospective bidder described the building as “the perfect opportunity fund asset”.
Only 640,000 sq ft of the 1.5m sq ft development, which sits on a 4.8 acre site, is for sale. The 200-bedroom Malmaison hotel and 200 flats were sold on the scheme’s completion in 2000.

The Mailbox comprises 140,000 sq ft of retail, 110,000 sq ft of bars and restaurants, more than 300,000 sq ft of offices, which includes 100,000 sq ft let to the BBC, and a 900-space car park. The total annual rental income for the area that is being sold is £9.4m.

Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani and Hugo Boss are among the occupiers of 20 of the shops, but 13 units are vacant. Prospective buyers see leasing these shops a huge asset management opportunity.

Guy Webber, director at BWD Retail, who has been approached by prospective purchasers to advise on the sale, says: “From our conversations since the announced sale, it is apparent that there is already strong investor enthusiasm for the Mailbox.

It is, however, also apparent that the retail element is in the spotlight, while only accounting for 13%-14% of income.”
Prospective investors are also considering the possibilities for a vacant 45,000 sq ft unit in the scheme, which could be converted into offices, a food store or a showroom. It was formerly occupied by the Post Office. The space has been marketed for the past year.

The sale is an agreement between the directors of the holding company for the scheme, Birmingham Mailbox Ltd, which include Alan Chatham (pictured) and Mark Billingham, and Lloyds Banking Group and the Royal Bank of Scotland, which hold the debt on the scheme.

The property’s developer, Birmingham Development Company, which was run by Chatham and Billingham, was placed into administration in March last year. Neither the Mailbox nor Birmingham Mailbox Ltd is in administration.
In its latest set of accounts filed at Companies House for the year ending February 2009, Birmingham Mailbox Ltd’s net debt totalled £81.2m.

In a statement to Property Week, Chatham, director of Birmingham Mailbox Ltd, says: “In December 2010 we issued a press statement that said we were considering putting the Mailbox on the market in January 2011, subject to appropriate market conditions.

“We have now concluded our due diligence and have decided to put the Mailbox on the market with an indicative price of more than £118m. CB Richard Ellis and GVA are the selling agents.”

The neighbouring 50,000 sq ft mixed-use Cube, another Birmingham Development Company scheme, is in administration.
Lloyds is sole funder to the scheme but no formal sales process is ongoing. However, the proximity of the Mailbox to the Cube has led bidders to consider bidding for both.

Read more: http://www.propertyweek.com/news/new...#ixzz1CzKDgzi8
propertyweek.com

Last edited by Steldemetriou; February 4th, 2011 at 06:28 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #2
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Final bids to be posted for Mailbox
Lisa Pilkington 25/02/2011 12:00

Final bids for Birmingham's Mailbox will be called next week.

Alan Chatham's and Mark Billingham's Birmingham Development Company put the 1.5m sq ft property up for sale last year. They are seeking £118m, a 7.5% yield.

Bids are expected from Jamie Ritblat's Delancey with Chester Properties, Brockton Capital, Moorfield with Nurton Developments, Mountgrange, London & Stamford, and Westbrook Partners.

Agents CB Richard Ellis and GVA hope to achieve a sale by the end of April.

http://www.egi.co.uk/Articles/Articl...ticleID=730412
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Old March 14th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #3
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From EGI

Brockton is frontrunner for Mailbox
Bridget O'Connell 14/03/2011 08:00

Brockton Capital, the opportunity fund set up by David Marks and Jason Blank, is frontrunner in the race to buy Birmingham's iconic Mailbox.

The fund is understood to have bid close to £130m for the 1.5m sq ft mixed-use scheme - 7.5% above its £118m asking price. It would be the first major deal for Brockton in more than 18 months and follows the recent appointment of Tony Edgley, former head of corporate real estate at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Other shortlisted parties *battling for The Mailbox are Raymond Mould's and Patrick Vaughan's London & Stamford; Chester Properties with investment partner Delancey; and investment firm JO Hambro.

The Mailbox, owned by Alan Chatham's and Mark Billingham's Birmingham Development Company, was put up for sale through CB *Richard Ellis and GVA last year, as revealed by Estates Gazette (13 November 2010, p29).

The scheme was put on the market after consensual discussions between BDC and its lenders Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.

BDC had been in talks to sell the property - as well as its second phase, the 500,000 sq ft Cube, which is in administration - in April 2007. It appointed CBRE to sell the schemes for around £300m - a 5.5% yield. However, the sale was cancelled four months later after failing to achieve bids close to the asking price.

Just one serious bid was made for the Mailbox, which was being marketed at around £230m. It came from a joint venture between Rockspring Property Investment Managers and Chester Properties, which offered £185m.

The Mailbox comprises 200 flats, a four-star Malmaison hotel, 200,000 sq ft of offices and 100,000 sq ft of shops and restaurants.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #4
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I went into the Mailbox yesterday, Sunday 13th March 2011.

I went in the "front" entrance, and the temptation always seems to be to go up the escalators (most people seem to).

But I decided to walk along the ground floor.

And I have to say it was dead, about half the shops seemed to be empty.

Such a shame.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guilbert53 View Post
I went into the Mailbox yesterday, Sunday 13th March 2011.

I went in the "front" entrance, and the temptation always seems to be to go up the escalators (most people seem to).

But I decided to walk along the ground floor.

And I have to say it was dead, about half the shops seemed to be empty.

Such a shame.
You have spotted one of it's major design/configuration faults. As you say people naturally head straight for the escalators instead of going up the further set of steps at lower level. Kills the pedestrian flow totally.

I hope that the new owners make some fundermental changes to this area to try and improve the movement of people along the lower level.
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Old March 14th, 2011, 10:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steldemetriou View Post
You have spotted one of it's major design/configuration faults. As you say people naturally head straight for the escalators instead of going up the further set of steps at lower level. Kills the pedestrian flow totally.

I hope that the new owners make some fundermental changes to this area to try and improve the movement of people along the lower level.
Well the obvious solution would be to flip the front escalators back. The Harvey Nics entrance is the main draw upstairs anyway so the upper level won't necessarily lose custom.
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Old March 15th, 2011, 12:38 PM   #7
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To be fair, there are empty units upstairs as well.

I would say most people go up the escalators because they are merely using it to get to the canals at the back. And of course, reverse traffic takes people straight down to the bottom.

The escalators are nowhere near the Mailbox's biggest problem.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 11:03 AM   #8
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Can anyone with any knowledge of these matters hazard a guess as to how much it would cost for the Mailbox to fund the extension of the Metro to up outside their front gate?

That's if Centro would even let them do it considering the medium-term plan is for it to head from the station up to Victoria Square.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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75% of the shops on the lower level are now empty, it's a real shame
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Old March 16th, 2011, 02:43 PM   #10
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The retail end of the Mailbox really has flopped in recent years.

When it opened in a blaze of glory, they proudly said that there "more designer shops in there than the whole of Manchester!" I doubted it at the time, it certainly isn't the case now.

I must admit I thought the occupation of the offices and presence of the BBC would turn around the fortunes of the shops, but clearly not. It really does need a new owner and some new impetus; i still believe it could work.

A lot of the shops are their own worst enemies - either so expensive that they prohibit a large part of the market, or so overstaffed that the overhead must kill them.
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Old March 16th, 2011, 02:50 PM   #11
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The BBC may have worked if the numbers that had work at Pebble Mill worked in the Mailbox.

Be interesting to see how the new owners try and reverse the problem.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 09:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Brockton Capital first to the Mailbox
Investor makes debut purchase for new £500m opportunity fund

Article posted: 21 Mar 2011
A former Royal Mail sorting office in Birmingham is close to being sold to investment company Brockton Capital.


The London-based investor and asset manager beat off competition from Chester Properties and London & Stamford to deliver the winning bid for the Mailbox.


The purchase will be a debut acquisition for Brockton’s new £500m opportunity fund which is thought to have bid in excess of the £118m asking price, reflecting a yield of around 7.5%.


The 1.5m sq ft property was purchased in 1998 for £4m. The residential and hotel component of the scheme was sold in 2000. Brockton will be purchasing the remaining 640,000 sq ft of retail, restaurants and office space at the iconic Birmingham property, giving them an annual income of around £9.4m.


For breaking news relating to office space in the West Midlands follow us on http://twitter.com/officespacenews

Posted by Jules
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...year=March2011
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Old April 6th, 2011, 12:39 PM   #13
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Confirmed that Brockton Captial have bought the Mailbox.

Quote:
Mailbox in Birmingham sold for nearly £10m above asking price

* By Alun Thorne
* Apr 6 2011


The Mailbox in Birmingham has been sold to Brockton Capital for almost £10m more than the asking price.

The iconic mixed use scheme in the heart of the city has been acquired for £127.1million from Birmingham Development Company.

Brockton Capital, acting on behalf of Brockton Capital Fund II LP, has acquired the development in a partnership with Milligan.

The deal comprises 640,980 sq ft of office retail and restaurants with current tenants including the BBC, Network Rail, Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani and Thomas Pink.

David Zimmermann, a partner of Brockton Capital, said: “Brockton Capital is excited to have invested into The Mailbox, one of the city’s most iconic buildings.

"The innovative work of Birmingham Mailbox Limited in converting the giant former sorting office into a thriving mix of offices, restaurants, shops, hotels and apartments has been transformational for the centre of Birmingham.”

He added: “Brockton Capital and Milligan will be looking to build on Birmingham Mailbox Limited’s good work at The Mailbox.

"We have earmarked substantial funds to enhance the building in order to further improve the public realm, bring in new businesses, shops, restaurants and other leisure uses to the asset and to further cement its reputation as one of the best places in the city to work, shop, eat and relax.

“We look forward to working closely with the city’s residents, businesses, retailers, visitors, planners and councillors in order to help bring this about.”

The sale of the Mailbox will bring to an end Alan Chatham and Mark Billingham’s association with the development which they brought to the market more than a decade ago.

The scheme has since suffered from a significant fall in commercial property values and the sale followed an agreement between BDC and the Mailbox’s banks.

Brockton Capital LLP was advised on the acquisition by Jones Lang LaSalle, Shelley Sandzer, Gleeds, BDO LLP and Nabarro LLP.
The vendor was advised by CB Richard Ellis and GVA and Eversheds.

Read More http://www.birminghampost.net/birmin...#ixzz1IjpiwF7S
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Old April 9th, 2011, 03:47 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markmcd1976 View Post
The BBC may have worked if the numbers that had work at Pebble Mill worked in the Mailbox.

Be interesting to see how the new owners try and reverse the problem.
Well, I argued for a long, long time that there should be a Boots store in there, not only for prescriptions but for perfumes and other upmarket goods. Those that live in the Mailbox seem to be quite health conscious and judging by the amount of the fresh food that seems to fly out of the door in that Tesco Express (according to my girlfriend) there must be room for a place that sells the stuff that the Tesco can't sell/specialise in.

Big high street names with an upmarket brands should be peppered in there at some point - The back facing the canal however, different story.. especially during the summer..
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Old April 9th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fruit&nut View Post
The retail end of the Mailbox really has flopped in recent years.

When it opened in a blaze of glory, they proudly said that there "more designer shops in there than the whole of Manchester!" I doubted it at the time, it certainly isn't the case now.

I must admit I thought the occupation of the offices and presence of the BBC would turn around the fortunes of the shops, but clearly not. It really does need a new owner and some new impetus; i still believe it could work.

A lot of the shops are their own worst enemies - either so expensive that they prohibit a large part of the market, or so overstaffed that the overhead must kill them.
The worst aspect of The Mailbox is the access to it from under the Ring-road. I always thought that the access would put people off and remember that a number of people get to Brindley Place via the ICC area not through The Mailbox.
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Old April 9th, 2011, 06:34 PM   #16
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I think its an issue with signage aswel, theres hardly any signs pointing out the mailbox and from the mailbox theres nothing that im aware of that lets visitors know you can access brindley place and broad st from the canal at the back?
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Old April 11th, 2011, 04:42 PM   #17
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Interesting article from this weeks Estates Gazette:
Mailbox owners put stamp on new tenant mix
09/04/2011 00:06


The new owners of Birmingham's iconic Mailbox are working up plans to improve the tenant mix on the 1.5m sq ft estate, including bringing in supermarkets and a cinema.

Brockton Capital this week confirmed that it had bought the mixed-use scheme for its £500m Brockton Capital Fund II, a deal revealed by Estates Gazette last month (12 March, p36).

The fund manager has paid £127.1m, with John Milligan's Milligan Retail taking a minority stake.

The Mailbox, home to the Birmingham branch of Harvey Nichols, contains 650,000 sq ft of lettable space in addition to two hotels and 144 flats let on long ground leases.

Alan Chatham's and Mark Billingham's Birmingham Development Company put it up for sale through CB Richard Ellis and GVA last year, after consensual discussions with lenders Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland.

Brockton co-managing director David Marks said: "We will be sticking with luxury retail but there are lots of other uses that residents in and around the Mailbox may want, such as food stores and a cinema."

Brockton was advised by Jones Lang LaSalle and Shelley Sandzer.
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Old April 11th, 2011, 05:18 PM   #18
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Sounds positive and good to note they are sticking with Lux retail.

I know of Brockton but don't much about Milligan however, it looks like they specialise in repositioning retail schemes.

They worked on the Metquarter in Liverpool and Triangle in Manchester.

http://www.milliganretail.com
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Old April 11th, 2011, 06:46 PM   #19
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Hmm a cinema, maybe a waitrose for the supermarket.. where would the cinema go!? That would get mailbox where it needs to be i think
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Old April 11th, 2011, 07:46 PM   #20
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Yeah a cinema and waitrose or m&s simply food would pull in the footfall, deffinatly looking positive
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