ALB Group, a developer based in the UK, has recently acquired the struggling Sailmakers shopping centre in Ipswich, Suffolk. The purchase price for the 133,000 square foot mall has not been disclosed. However, ALB Group has big plans to revitalize the space. According to The BusinessDesk, the new owner intends to take a “fresh approach” in order to attract more local businesses to the area. The refurbishment process has already begun.

Currently, the Sailmakers mall is anchored by a department store and features popular retailers like River Island, Boots, and Poundland. Despite this, the mall is only 75% occupied, with the former Topshop store still remaining vacant.

ALB Group’s redevelopment plan is set to completely refurbish two units specifically for local designers, artists, charities, or businesses that are interested in an eight-week pop-up opportunity at a very low rent. This initiative aims to create a more appealing environment for local, independent entrepreneurs to showcase and sell their products. ALB Group has been purchasing town centre properties in other parts of the UK as part of their mission to revive struggling high streets. The company seeks to provide more affordable and flexible leases in order to support the local community.

Arran Bailey, the Managing Director of ALB Group, stated, “We are determined to revolutionize the way high streets are managed and offer these important community centres the chance of revival. Sailmakers is an important acquisition for ALB, and we are excited to support Ipswich in its journey to recovery.”

FHP and Prime Retail have been awarded the responsibility of marketing the available retail units at Sailmakers. Tim Lloyd, a partner at Prime Retail, expressed optimism about the future of Sailmakers under ALB Group’s ownership. Lloyd said, “Sailmakers has needed new owners for quite some time now… I see genuine potential here. Given what ALB Group has accomplished in other parts of the UK, Sailmakers couldn’t be in better hands.”

Useful links:
ALB Group
Prime Retail