24 Jul 22 by Joanne High
There is much speculation about the High Street and what needs to be done to revive it, or is it dead? Clearly there have been high profile closures throughout the last 2 years and certainly our High Streets don’t look the same as they did before Covid – but that’s change and it isn’t always a bad thing. It creates an opportunity for those willing to roll their sleeves up and be a part of that change.
Update on the High Street
by Joanne High, Associate and Head of Commercial Agency
In Plymouth we’ve sold the former Debenhams to a London based company called Build Vantage and their plans for the property have been well documented in the press. We are marketing the ground floor which is just under 36,000 sq ft and can be split into smaller units to suit occupiers. There is a good level of interest in the property, and I hope to be able to announce some new occupiers coming to Plymouth soon.
We are also marketing the House of Fraser jointly with Allsop. This provides nearly 200,000 sq ft of space, with the site area being just under 1 acre. We’re asking for offers in excess of £4,000,000 and we’ve received excellent interest and hope to put the property under offer shortly. So there will be some quite substantial changes to Plymouth when these two developments get under way. Add to this the public realm improvements and the imminent start on the Civic Centre by Urban Splash, and Plymouth really does start to change.
I firmly believe this change will be positive, and I’m not the only one. Those acquiring properties within the City Centre at the moment aren’t local and are coming from further afield, such as London. Why are they choosing Plymouth? Because they see Plymouth has somewhere to go, there are aspirations and opportunities to re-gear leases, take back upper floors and convert them into residential.
We’ve also been marketing 10 Cornwall Street, which is the former Sharps Showroom and this is now under offer. We had a number of parties wanting the property and the rent we’ve achieved shows that rents are starting to rise again. They aren’t anywhere near pre-Covid levels, but the trajectory is on the right path. With the business rates revaluation on the horizon – figures will be released at the end of December, we hope that Rateable Values will decrease in line with rents and therefore make shops more affordable to occupiers, which in turn has the potential to enable further rental growth and more occupiers being able to afford to have a High Street presence.
In summary, I’m optimistic about the future of Plymouth City Centre and I hope you will be too.
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