BMO Commercial Property Trust lets former Homebase unit to Marks & Spencer at Sears Retail Park

BMO Commercial Property Trust (BCPT), which is managed by BMO Real Estate Partners (BMO REP), has completed an unconditional letting agreement with Marks & Spencer at Sears Retail Park in Solihull, significantly expanding the retailer’s existing presence at the park.

The letting agreement is for a redeveloped 35,000 sq ft retail unit, which was formerly occupied by Homebase, on a 20 year lease at an uplift on the previous passing rent. All the necessary planning consents have been obtained and demolition works are underway at the site.  

As part of the redevelopment, the new retail unit will be combined with M&S’s adjacent 12,000 sq ft food hall, where it trades under an existing lease. The combined units will form a single, c82,000 sq ft (82,000 sq ft gross, trading 66,000 sq ft) store incorporating general merchandise, a larger food hall offer as well as a M&S café. The new premises will be handed over to M&S for fit out upon completion of the redevelopment at the end of 2020, with the store set to open in summer 2021.
Andy Barber, M&S Head of Region for West Midlands, says: “Shopping habits are changing, so we’re reshaping our store estate to make sure it’s fit for the future, meeting the needs of customers today – and those of tomorrow. As part of this journey, we’re excited to expand our offer at M&S Sears Retail Park, which will see the store offer Clothing for the first time, alongside a bigger and better food department and new café. 
“Bringing the best of M&S to local customers is at the heart of the expansion and, once open, we will build on the great service the team already provides. We look forward to sharing more details as the opening nears in summer 2021.”
Richard Kirby, Director, Property Funds at BMO REP, says: “We’re very pleased to have filled this vacancy with a high profile occupier who already has a presence at Sears Retail Park, reflecting M&S’s satisfaction with this location - further evidence of the ongoing appetite from selected retail brands for the right space in the right locations.”