The Richmond Centre, Londonderry

Vixcroft acquired the Octagon Centre, Londonderry, Northern Ireland in January 2015.  Standing within the city walls of historic Londonderry, the centre was previously owned by the Hegarty family, before the receivers were called in to dispose of the asset in 2010.

Built with a reinforced structure in 1980, as a landmark project, the Richmond Centre comprises 100,00 sq ft, and has 39 retail units and five kiosks, spread over three floors. 

When Vixcroft took over the asset management of the property the centre was 60% empty and looking very tired.  The management of the property had suffered and retailer confidence was low.  Vixcroft planned a programme of investment in the centre, and to tackle voids in rent arrears and to rebalance rents for the benefit of the tenants.

Since purchase, Vixcroft has:

  • Ensured that many pre-existing retailers have remained in the centre
  • Completed four lease regearings
  • Relocated five retailers within the centre
  • Introduced restaurants and coffee bars to the centre to increase dwell time
  • Undertaken development works to create unit configurations to meet the requirements of new retailers
  • Significantly reduced rent arrears and rebalanced rent tone
  • Pioneered the first outside seating in Londonderry and the first outside Belfast, by negotiating a ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ while the required legislation inhibiting street seating went through Parliament and became Law in 2015
  • Invested in a refurbishment programme of the malls to provide new lighting, and entrances and mall finishes to brighten the centre
  • Completed extensive remodelling and renovations to the centre
  • Signed up 19 retailers and leisure operators who are new to the centre and Londonderry
  • Implemented a cohesive and targeted marketing strategy, with a 50% cost saving on marketing spend 

As a result of the new lettings, lease regearings and introduction of a leisure element to the Octagon centre, Vixcroft has managed to increase footfall by 20% to over £6 million visitors per annum.  At the close of 2016, for the first time since the Richmond centre was built, it has achieved 100% occupancy.  Vixcroft has also  reduced occupational costs which means that tenants are able to achieve more sustainable profits as a basis for rental growth.