Simon Chown congratulates Regus on the opening of St. Georges House, Leicester following a £1 million refurbishment. This is a City Centre office block that Chown Commercial manages on behalf of a private fund and the building was re-opened on October 8thby Leicester City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby. Yet further afield, in London, we are currently involved in the acquisition of a number of mixed use investments, acting for the Landlord during the surrender and re-grant of a retail lease in Southampton, the disposal of an office property in Liverpool and the letting of industrial units in Wirksworth, Derby.
Back home, in the centre of Northampton, in the last three months this quarter, we have been actively involved in lettings to DAPP UK at Unit 12, 71-77 Abington Street and a Sushi Bar at 7 Fish Street. We have also let a Café at 48 The Drapery and a Crepe Café at 4a Fish Street where we were able to introduce the tenants to Northampton Borough Councils Grant Scheme. This change in the town centre operators away from mass retailers to local operators is evidenced in a national study recently undertaken by Price Waterhouse Coopers, highlighting how Coffee Shops, Charity Shops and Convenience Stores are taking over in town centres and from an agency and local occupational perspective our strong third quarter has seen increased interest from exactly these operators. Other deals to service retailers have included 31 and 58 Bridge Street.
As we identified in our article back in February, the larger retail units or open sites that have become available as a result of internal movement in the market, have attracted metro/local supermarkets to service the larger number of residential householders around the town centre itself. Since then sites such as the old Chronicle and Echo and the Grosses Garage Site in Kingsthorpe have revealed that are both due to become Aldi’s confirming the national trend.
In the local office market we have recently been retained to acquire 10,000 sq ft of offices or a building or site capable of accommodating approximately this space with parking. Similarly we have just been retained to purchase a local warehouse/factory investment up to £250,000 for a private pension fund.
If you have comments on the local occupancy of the town centre, or if you think your building may be of interest to our clients, we would like to hear from you. Please tweet us at @ChownCommercial.