The Eagles Meadow development in the town centre has been purchased by a Manchester investor, with possible big plans on the horizon.
The announcement was made by Eagles Meadow Manager, Kevin Critchely at this morning’s Town Centre Forum Meeting. Speaking at the meeting Mr Critchley said: “The sale has been going through for sometime. You can imagine the level of detail that has been put into it.
“The sale started last year and has gone through; contracts were exchanged at the end of March and were completed on the 21st April.”
After the meeting Wrexham.com spoke with Mr Critchley who told us that it was the whole site that has been purchased, rather than just the shopping centre. This includes the commercial areas, the shops and car parks, plus the apartments and the frontage entrance on to Yorke Street.
We enquired with Wrexham Council, who issued a long term lease on the site when it was first developed, if they had been involved in the deal. A spokesperson for Wrexham Council said: “We’ve had no input and it will have no impact on any lease.”
Car parking prices have been a controversial topic so we asked if this new deal would change that, however we are told that the current sub leases in place would not be affected.
Previously we have reported how Eagles Meadow was held by a company based in Luxembourg, and have been told that the new owners are more local and are from Manchester. It is suggested that a ‘private investor’, believed to be an individual in association with one or more banks has put the money up for the purchase.
Speaking about the deal Mr Critchley said it reflected the confidence in Wrexham itself, “This deal would not have happened if there was not the belief in Wrexham and its potential for growth.”
Eight interested buyers had visited Eagles Meadow, which was then shortlisted to three – before a preferred list of two and then finally the selected buyer emerged.
Wrexham.com asked about the future of the centre, and if changes would be made. We were told that various ideas had been floated but it is up to the new owner which direction is taken, and what happens.
Interestingly one snippet of the due diligence referred to questions on the current pilings in place, perhaps hinting at future further physical development of the centre – with the much requested roof perhaps even being built. Other mooted ideas have been expansion of the development towards the town centre, and a dual level brought in with upper walkways.
We asked Mr Critchley for some ‘blue sky’ thinking in terms of the future, with reference to the roof and other areas suggested including purchase of the Wynnstay to enhance the entrance to Eagles Meadow and we were told: “There are endless ideas out there, and there much be some where the new owners have thought ‘ah, thats a possibility’.”
No timelines have been given for the new developments, with some plans being shorter term whereas physical developments or redevelopments could take four or five years. Mr Critchley did say: “Eagles Meadow will be different in 12 months than now, and over time it will be very different”.
Mr Critchley summed the deal up saying: “If this isn’t a vote of confidence in Wrexham I don’t know what is”, saying he was “chuffed”.