16 Sep 2019

M7 revitalises Leyweg Shopping Centre in The Hague, Netherlands

M7 Real Estate (“M7”), the pan-European asset manager and investor, has undertaken an intensive asset management programme at Leyweg Shopping Centre (“Leyweg”), on behalf of M7 EREIP IV (the “Fund”), in the Hague, the Netherlands which has significantly increased occupancy to 98%.

Leyweg is the largest, partially covered, out of town shopping centre in The Hague. It consists of three parts and has a mix of large retail companies and local retailers. The central section which comprises 5,152 sq m arranged as 35 retail units is totally uncovered, and was acquired by M7 on behalf of the Fund in 2016. Due to the changing retail market and previous passive asset management there was a vacancy rate of circa 36% (14 units), which was compounded by a negative market and occupier sentiment towards Leyweg. The challenge was, therefore, to convince new retailers to move to Leyweg to increase the occupancy whilst retaining the existing tenants.

Through a proactive asset management plan including targeted acquisitions (M7 selected a local retail broker with in depth local knowledge to focus on getting local traders into Leyweg whilst M7 focused on the larger national retailers) and splitting / merging units to provide space more suited to retailors current requirements, the occupancy has been increased to 98%. In addition, all existing tenants renewed their rental agreements. M7 expect the asset to be fully occupied by the end of 2019.

Ryan Edwards, Investment Manager at M7 commented: “Repositioning of the asset through an active asset management strategy has enabled us to create attractive space for new and existing tenants. The tenant mix has been improved at the shopping centre which has led to increased appetite from new tenants to locate here. The work from our local team has enabled us to enhance both the asset and the perception of the retail market in this location.”