Wednesday, July 23, 2014

News: Prominent Rotherham buildings up for sale

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Signs suggest that the Howard Building in Rotherham town centre will go under the hammer at auction in September.

Rotherham College of Arts and Technology (RCAT) put the four storey building up for sale in 2012 with Rotherham Council acting as marketing agents but there hasn't been any takers.

Opened in the 1930's on Howard Street in the heart of the town centre, it operated as part of the college and also housed the council's environmental health teams and a day nursery. It was deemed surplus to requirements and was vacated in September 2012. The college has gone on to invest over £15m in the last three years improving the facilities in the town centre after securing government funding and a £5m loan from the council.

The Howard Building has an internal area of 42,000 sq ft and includes classrooms, offices, common room, library and meeting rooms. Part of the basement floor has been more recently been used as a nursery.

The site is being sold freehold with vacant possession and was advertised as having potential for alternative uses subject to planning permission which could include office, retail, hotel and residential use.

It is set to go up for auction on September 16 with local auctioneers, Mark Jenkinson & son.

Also being advertised for sale in the town centre is the historic Westgate Chambers, located in the key area of the Rotherham Renaissance initiative to regenerate the town centre which had been a focus for redevelopment and earmarked for housing together with retail and commercial uses. Rothbiz reported in April that Rotherham Council was to sell off the building that it acquired in 2006.

7 and 9 Westgate are Grade 2 listed buildings. Known by many as the former Co-op buildings, they were originally constructed in 1794 by local architect, John Platt as a residence for himself.

The council's cabinet agreed the plans to put Westgate Chambers onto the market to "seek developer interest for a predominantly residential development." It is being advertised as a regeneration / development opportunity with "offers sought for a residential led scheme with an active commercial ground floor of retail / leisure / restaurant or similar."
Demolition is well underway at the council-owned former hospital on Doncaster Gate (pictured). In a bid to save costs and attract a greater interest in the opportunities for development of the site, demolition began earlier this year. The cleared site is set to be offered back to the market with the council expecting sufficient interest to result in a redevelopment that would add to the regeneration of this edge of town centre site.

Also in town, the 3,416 sq ft Temperance Hall on Wellgate is also being sold at auction after it failed to sell last year. Previously a Methodist chapel, it became the Temperance Hall in 1895, home to the Temperance Society who advocated a moderate approach to life and warned against excessive alcohol consumption. It went under the hammer with Pugh Auctions this week.

On the edge of the town centre, the freehold 22,000 sq ft, former Liquid & Envy nightclub has been re-advertised with agents, Gerald Eve.

Outside the town centre, KP Nuts is selling off its Eastwood home as it prepares to move to new multimillion pound premises at Hellaby. Agents, Knight Frank, have been instructed to sell the 152,167 sq ft manufacturing and warehouse facilities that occupy a site area of 4.75 acres, offering a redevelopment opportunity within the Chesterton Road area.

In Manvers, agents at GVA are bringing forward the sale of the BizSpace facilities at Silkstone and Manvers House on Pioneer Close. The national portfolio of the managed workspace operator is being sold and the two Dearne Valley buildings include 26,191 sq ft of space.

Images: Tom Austen / Chrisfp on Flickr, used under Creative Commons licence.

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