Avignon Capital has acquired a modern, mixed use leisure scheme in Southampton for £8.75m. The Arts Complex extending to 88,315 sq ft (8,205 sq m) is located in the heart of Southampton’s thriving Cultural Quarter at Above Bar Street.
The arts centre element of the development, known as Studio 144, is leased to Southampton City Council and is due to open in summer 2017. A multi-purpose performing arts centre will offer two performance spaces, a dance studio and a bistro café. Studio 144 will be run by the Nuffield Theatre and is projected to attract 750,000 visitors a year.
The newly developed building is also home to seven restaurant units, which are fully let to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nandos, Tapas Barcelona, Mettricks, The Stable, Neighbourhood and Costa Coffee.
The Cultural Quarter area is core to Southampton’s social and economic regeneration programme that has benefitted from significant investments in recent years. It now offers a diverse range of cultural and entertainment attractions and is a desired restaurant location in the city.
Phil Walker, Investment Manager at Avignon Capital, said: “Having recently sold our holding in Worcester, we have redeployed that equity into a brand-new asset with 18 years WAULT in the growing cultural location of Southampton. This acquisition fits with our ethos of supporting the film and the art industries and we are excited about the opening of the Nuffield Theatre and Art Centre at the complex later this year.”
“Southampton is a key commercial centre for the South East region and is renowned as the cruise ship capital of Europe; with four million visitors every year, we see huge potential here.”
Avignon Capital has a track record of supporting the creative industries. Last year the firm entered a joint venture with Curzon Cinemas to support the expansion and create a portfolio of well-located, long-let cinema led investment opportunities. Avignon Capital also acquired the historic Berliner Union Film Campus in Berlin, which is occupied by a wide variety of media companies, including YouTube and the Met Film School.
Avignon Capital was advised by Green & Partners and Gateley Plc.
The asset also benefits from occupying a highly prominent site situated on Guildhall Square, which has been recently restored and is home to the O2 Guildhall, the City Art Gallery and City Library.