Thursday, December 12, 2013

News: Investors return to Rotherham town centre

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£50m worth of deals have taken place in 2013 for commercial property in Rotherham town centre, indicating improved levels of investor confidence and a brightening economic outlook.

The biggest deal at auction saw the bank at the White Hart Buildings on Bridgegate sold with Allsops in May for an impressive £1m. Built on the site of the historic White Hart Inn, the property is currently home to Barclays Bank and the Rotherham Visitor Centre with rents of £99,872 pa.

Other property deals also done via Allsops this year include the sale of 24-26 College Street (currently home to Card Factory) which sold prior to an auction in July, and 28-30 College Street (Clinton's) which went at the same auction for £300,000. Both lots went up for auction a year previous and failed to sell.

Another building on Bridgegate, currently home to the Co-Operative bank, went up for auction with Allsops last month. With a guide price of £700,000, the lot went unsold.

Across town, 2A & 6, 6A, 6B and 6C on Wellgate went under the hammer at the June auction of Sheffield chartered surveyors, Mark Jenkinson & Son. A predominantly vacant building that includes the 235 sq ft Staniforths bakery outlet and the former premises of Keith Mallinson Tailors and Peter Bird hairdressers, also includes 2,800 sq ft of office space on the upper floors.

The property had a guide price of £125,000–£150,000 and ended up being sold after the auction. Plans have recently been submitted to convert the upper floors into four flats.

Auctioneers, Acuitus, also saw Rotherham town centre properties sell this year. The Grade 2 listed building currently occupied by Greggs on the corner of The Old Town Hall was given a guide price of £600,000+ and was sold after their February auction.

The latest sale was for the freehold of the Lloyds Bank building on Wellgate which sold earlier this month, over the guide price, at £300,000.

Richard Auterac, auctioneer at Acuitus, said: "This has been a year which has seen more momentum in the commercial property auction sector.

"Investors have an eye on the brightening economic outlook while the distressed property situations which date from the pre-crash boom are now being gradually addressed. This is bringing more stock into the auction room and creating a more fully functioning market than we have seen for some considerable time."

Away from the auction houses, the biggest deal for current commercial property saw The Cascades Centre acquired by international investment manager, Threadneedle, in a deal in the order of £5m.

The largest deal of the year was Rotherham Borough Council agreeing the £7.3m sale of its former town centre civic site with developers, TCN UK, enabling the £41m required for a new Tesco development to be secured.

Private property investor fund Osprey Income and Growth 2 LP completed the deal with the backing of £16.9m of equity from private investors and £23.75m of debt from HSBC Bank.

Images: Acuitus

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