Can Leisure Really Unlock Covid-Hit Retail Assets? Lenders And Ellandi Bet £50M That It Can

Goodbye old-fashioned shopping mall, hello waterfront leisure destination.
The 2M SF Merry Hill Centre near Birmingham is to become the first of the former intu malls to undergo a post-Covid rethink, heading down the path of substituting leisure for retail.
Ellandi, the centre’s operator, and the lenders that own the scheme are banking on leisure occupiers to carry the weight of expectations as England unlocks after 15 months of on-off coronavirus restrictions.
The £50M investment, being funded by a consortium of lenders led by Wells Fargo, will create what Ellandi calls a “leading lifestyle destination” by July 2025.
Plans include the development of a…

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