Wetherspoon adds more rooms to its Wolverhampton revamp plans28th November 2023
JD Wetherspoon has submitted revised plans for a pub in Wolverhampton which would see the creation of a further 25 hotel rooms and another floor. The group’s earlier proposals for The Moon Under Water – which were approved in September – looked to redevelop the pub to create a 72-bedroom hotel as well as a heritage centre. The pub giant had originally secured planning permission from the local council in March 2020 to add an additional floor to the pub as part of wider developments. If approved by the City of Wolverhampton Council, the revised proposals will also see the creation of an additional 21 hotel rooms in a newly-built fourth floor, plus an additional four rooms in an extension over an existing flat roof. The 40,000 sq ft space which sits above The Moon Under Water has lain empty for over 33 years after being home to an old Co-op store. The building, which sits opposite the Grand Theatre, is set to benefit from a redevelopment of Lichfield Street laid out in Wolverhampton Council’s centre transformation programme. City of Wolverhampton Council leader, councillor Stephen Simkins, said: “This revised planning application from Wetherspoon to develop additional hotel rooms on top […]
Savills completes Nash Bond acquisition28th November 2023
Savills has acquired Central London-based retail agency and lease consultancy firm Nash Bond. Nash Bond – which was founded in 2003 by Mark Nash and Andrew Bond – has 11 directors and specialises in the retail, food and beverage, and leisure sectors. The firm works in both an agency and lease advisory capacity, with clients including major London estates such as Cadogan, Crown, and Portman, as well as developers and real estate investment trusts including Shaftesbury Capital, British Land, Crosstree, Great Portland Estates, Argent, Landsec, and Lendlease. Nash Bond also advises many UK and international funds, developers, and private investors as well as retailers. The Nash Bond acquisition will allow Savills to enhance the strength of its 20-strong Central London retail business, whilst enabling it to expand its global retail offer to clients. Savills’ Central London team has recently closed deals with Uniqlo and Footasylum on Oxford Street, and Gucci on Bond Street. Nash Bond will be rebranded to Savills with immediate effect. James Sparrow, chief executive officer of Savills UK and EMEA, said: “We are thrilled to have acquired this fantastic business that we have long admired with such a great reputation. We have seen a significant recovery in...
Vegan restaurant Hank’s Dirty opens permanently in Norwich28th November 2023
Vegan restaurant Hank’s Dirty has opened at Castle Quarter in Norwich on a permanent basis. The operator has taken a six-year lease for a 2,007 sq ft unit in the Timberhill Terrace area of the Norwich scheme. Hank’s Dirty was one of the original operators at the Norwich scheme’s Castle Social market hall concept when it opened in autumn 2022. The company behind the operator will retain use of the original unit to open the first outlet for its Top Dawgs & Desserts concept. The signing follows a period of record performance for Castle Quarter following its repositioning towards an increased leisure and entertainment offer. Notable additions to the scheme’s leisure offering include Boom Battle Bar, Putt Putt Noodle, Escape Hunt, and Vector VR. In addition, the eight-screen Vue Cinema has committed to a major refurbishment for 2024. Will Ashdown, asset manager at RivingtonHark, said: “The decision by Hank’s Dirty to open a standalone restaurant at Castle Quarter is hugely exciting, and reflects the success it has seen in its year within Castle Social. When we launched Castle Social, we envisioned it being a destination in its own right, incubating new concepts and giving opportunities to exciting pop-ups. The progression […]
Colliers seeks regeneration partner for Margate’s Winter Gardens27th November 2023
Colliers has been appointed by Thanet District Council to find a suitable development partner to help regenerate Margate’s Winter Gardens. The 51,000 sq ft Grade II-listed entertainment venue closed its doors in August 2022, however Thanet District Council has expressed a desire to bring Winter Gardens back to its former glory. The venue – which has hosted the likes of The Beatles and Laurel and Hardy in its storied history – is set to be redeveloped as part of the council’s £22.2m Margate Town Deal programme. The seafront venue comprises two performance spaces; the main hall has a capacity of 2,150 standing people whilst the Queen’s Hall can host 600. Paul Bugeja from Colliers Licensed & Leisure team said: “The council is seeking a partner which can honour the history of this venue, while also bringing it up to date and making it inviting to residents as well as visitors to Margate. We have seen how exciting regeneration plans for landmark buildings such as the Eastbourne Winter Gardens and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill have revitalised coastal towns. We’re looking to secure a partnership which has a vision to reignite the entertainment offering in Margate and deliver on the expectations […]
Shaftesbury Capital completes £82m of asset disposals27th November 2023
Shaftesbury Capital completed £82m worth of asset disposals between July and mid-November, as the real estate investment trust (REIT) reports a strong start to the Christmas period. The REIT – which manages a portfolio across London’s West End – said the asset disposals were 12% ahead of its June 2023 valuation, with 5% of its total portfolio value initially identified to be recycled. During the period, Shaftesbury Capital saw high footfall across its West End estate, with customers reporting sales in aggregate 12% above 2022 levels and 16% ahead of 2019 levels. The REIT also said demand for its properties had remained high, with leasing activity in the second half of the year totalling 220 transactions worth £15.6m worth of rent. In the year to date, Shaftesbury Capital completed 440 leasing transactions, representing £30.2m worth of rent. The REIT said that vacancy rates had remained low at only 2.2%. Ian Hawksworth, Shaftesbury Capital chief executive, said: “Our excellent performance has continued into the second half, with a strong start to the Christmas trading period. The West End is one of the most vibrant global destinations with an unrivalled concentration of entertainment and cultural attractions. Footfall remains high and customer sales […]
Cushman & Wakefield appoints partner to Capital Markets team27th November 2023
Cushman & Wakefield has appointed James Yates as partner in its UK Capital Markets team, leading the firm’s investment activity in Yorkshire and the North East. With 15 years’ experience in real estate advisory, Yates joins from Avison Young, where he was most recently a director in the firm’s Capital Markets team. He has advised a mixture of clients – including Aviva, CBRE IM, Copley Point Capital, M7, and local authorities – on a number of commercial property transactions across multiple sectors. Yates will be based at Cushman & Wakefield’s Leeds office, and will advise on the acquisition and disposals of commercial investments. Jeremy Beckett, head of National Capital Markets at Cushman & Wakefield, said: “We are thrilled to welcome James to Cushman & Wakefield. Our Capital Markets team is made up of specialists with a thorough understanding of capital sources and pricing in the market, as well as the evolving needs of occupiers and what that means for investors throughout the country. James’ experience and considerable local market knowledge will complement the existing team and further strengthen our first-rate investment advisory service for clients.” James Yates added: “It is an exciting time to join Cushman & Wakefield. The Yorkshire...
Mountain Warehouse eyes 50 new stores next year27th November 2023
Mountain Warehouse is targeting 50 new store openings in 2024 as it records all-time-high sales this year. The outdoor and camping retailer is opening a new store every week in the run-up to Christmas, building on its estate of 370 sites worldwide. Mountain Warehouse opened new stores in Swindon and Newark last week and will open shops in Lincoln, Hexham, and Stratford-upon-Avon before Christmas. The retailer has also opened three standalone Animal shops in the coastal towns of Padstow, Bude and Abersoch. Mountain Warehouse recently agreed to join Lancaster’s Marketgate shopping centre. This comes as Mountain Warehouse reported a record revenue of £371m in the year ending February 2023. This was a year-on-year increase of 22.6%, although the retailer recorded a loss of £1.5m due to increased costs. During the six months to 31 August 2023, the retailer saw its sales increase to £171m and its underlying profit reach £6.7m, bolstered by a wet summer which saw an increase in sales of waterproof jackets. Mark Neale, founder of Mountain Warehouse, said: “During Covid, there was a belief that nobody was ever going to go to a store again, and their days were numbered, but that’s proved to be completely wide […]
KLM makes partner promotion27th November 2023
KLM Real Estate has promoted Jack Hesketh to the role of partner. Hesketh has worked at the real estate firm since 2016, primarily in its retail agency division. There he advised international retail brands and key landlord clients across central London. During his time at KLM, Hesketh has worked with retail clients including including Jimmy Fairly, Sessun, Charlotte Tilbury, Penhaligon’s, Itsu, Sunspel, Sezane, LFDY, Starbucks, and Balibaris. He has also advised a number of clients on opening their first physical stores in the capital. His landlord clients include The Crown Estate. Mostafa Sbitri, partner at KLM Real Estate, said: “Jack’s promotion recognises his talent and effort within our London and International agency business during some of the most challenging times. We’re delighted to recognise this achievement”.
HMV reopens Oxford Street flagship after four-year hiatus24th November 2023
HMV has opened the doors to its flagship store on Oxford Street, four years after its departure from the shopping hotspot. Opening at No. 363, the store features the retailer’s new ‘HMV Shop’ format and new logo, which will also be added to a further 24 new sites and 14 existing stores by the end of the year. HMV initially arrived in the London in 1921. The Oxford Street store has a storied history, previously burning down in a fire in 1937 and being used as an air raid shelter during the Second World War. The music and electronics retailer has seen something of a turnaround in recent years following the takeover of current owner Doug Putman in 2019. In January, HMV posted a return to profit after vinyl outsold CDs for the first time in 35 years. Sam Foyle, co-head of prime global retail at Savills, which acted for the landlord, said: “We are delighted that HMV is returning to its iconic flagship site on Oxford Street in time for Christmas. This symbolic moment is not only evidence of the continued appetite from brands to establish their presence on an international stage, but it also represents the terrific progress that we have been making […]
Q&A: Chris Harris on launching asset management firm Vedra24th November 2023
Launching your own company is no mean feat. For Chris Harris, the process has been “crazy in a good way”. The former John Lewis property director has set up asset management firm Vedra Real Estate Assets, and plans to bring his unique experience to shopping centres and retail parks. He began his career at Chesterton International as a retail property agent before moving client-side to work at Blockbuster, Arcadia Group, and most recently, the John Lewis Partnership. His experience is not solely within the property sector, having spent time as operations director for Blockbuster and working in procurement during his time at both Arcadia and John Lewis. During his six year tenure at John Lewis, Harris worked on the ambitious build-to-rent (BTR) partnership with Abrdn, which looks to deliver 10,000 homes over the next decade. Completely Retail News sat down with Harris to learn all about his new venture: Tell us about Vedra Real Estate Assets – what strategies or approaches have you implemented to differentiate it from competitors? “What is unique from our perspective is the retailer background. I, and others but I can’t say who yet, will come with significant retail experience, as well as real estate experience....
Hartlepool planning authority considers Middleton Grange takeover24th November 2023
A local planning authority is considering the takeover of Middleton Grange Shopping Centre in Hartlepool as part of plans to regenerate the scheme. Hartlepool Development Corporation (HDC) is currently in negotiations for the long lease for the scheme, which is located at the heart of the town’s Development Corporation Zone. The deal – which is subject to approval from HDC’s board – would give the planning authority control over the centre. Current plans would see the scheme’s public spaces regenerated, new frontages installed, and the centre opened up to allow uses beyond retail. The acquisition is set t be part of the town’s wider masterplan, which includes creating 2,000 new jobs, building up to 1,300 new homes, and restoring the town centre and waterfront. If a deal is reached, Hartlepool Borough Council would retain the freehold for Middleton Grange Shopping Centre, whilst HDC would appoint asset and property managers to oversee the site. Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, chair of HDC’s board, said: “Middleton Grange shopping centre has been at the centre of Hartlepool for decades – but it’s no secret that it needs some TLC. “This is a great opportunity to reposition the centre and make it a thriving […]
Travelodge targeting over 300 new locations24th November 2023
Travelodge has said it sees significant growth opportunities in the UK, as it identifies 300 new target locations. The budget hotel chain expects to open six new hotels in 2024, but said this number will increase to 15-20 new sites a year once market conditions improve. Travelodge also said it will continue to review extension opportunities across its existing estate. This comes as the chain releases a trading update for nine months ending 30 September 2023 (Q1-Q3), a period during which it saw record performance during the third quarter. During the first three quarters, Travelodge recorded an year-on-year increase in revenue of 16.7% to £782m, whilst EBITDA profit was up 22.4% to £201.2m. The chain added that it had seen strong momentum in the fourth quarter, with the acceleration of its hotel refit programme, and plans to upgrade around half of its current estate by the end of 2024. Travelodge has previously said it is exploring further brand partnerships as part of its plans to reach more new locations. Jo Boydell, Travelodge chief executive, said: “I am pleased to announce a record performance for the quarter, reflecting continued demand from Travelodge’s diverse range of leisure and business customers who seek...