Thames Tap understands AEW is in talks to buy the Broad Street Mall in Reading.

The investor, which recently bought a swathe of properties between Broad Street and Friar Street, has refused to comment but a possible deal has been described as ‘fantastic for the town centre’.

Moorgarth which put the 300,000 sq ft mall up for sale earlier this year, also declined to comment. A spokesman said: “We do not comment on market speculation.”

But one property source told us: “If AEW were to purchase Broad Street Mall, then it would be a fantastic endorsement for the future of Reading town centre.

“The Minster Quarter site could also be brought into the equation which would allow the two assets to work together.”

David Jones, managing director of property and planning consultancy and Thames Tap partner Evan Jones, said: “Town centres will need to get smaller and shrink into a central core and they will have to operate in similar way to how outlet villages and large retail centres like Westfield operate.

“Where there are landowners in place that own a number of assets, they are able to make strategic and holistic decisions for the good of the retail offering as a whole.”

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