Arora diversifies into retail with Crawley shopping centre acquisition

Abrdn has previously come close to selling County Mall


The Arora Group has completed the purchase of County Mall inCrawley, West Sussex


The company is diversifying its portfolio and hopes to apply its
hospitality knowledge to improve the centre

What next:

The property will undergo “a significant makeover”

Hotel owner operator The Arora Group has completed the purchase of County Mall in Crawley, West Sussex from Abrdn.

The 455,000 sq ft shopping centre sits on a 9.5 acre freehold city centre site directly opposite the group’s new Overline House development, where it will start construction later this year for the Crawley Gateway scheme, comprising over 300 apartments.

Known as a specialist airport hotel owner operator, The Arora Group, whose portfolio also includes the Intercontinental London – The O2, said it planned to bring its hospitality know-how to bear to improve the fortunes of County Mall.

Sanjay Arora, strategy director at the Arora Group, said:

“Our acquisition of County Mall is continuing the vision we have for creating a strong diversified portfolio which holds implicit real estate value for the long term and futuremgenerations.

“We believe in the Council’s wider regeneration plan and very much look forward to supporting their vision and investing to give County Mall a significant makeover along with introducing our extensive hospitality knowledge to give the shoppers the best overall experience.”

Abrdn has come close to selling the property, which was worth £220m before the global financial crisis, on several occasions in recent years. In early 2021, Anacott Capital had been in exclusivity to purchase the centre but talks fell apart after the prospective buyer and its US private equity partner reduced their bid from around £65m to £40m following the onset of the pandemic.

Time Retail Partners represented Abrdn on the deal.