Following the demise of Woolworths in November 2008, Boots quickly snapped up the freehold of the former Woolworths store on prime Coney Street, York, from the Administrator for their own occupation. Boots had traded on Coney Street for over a century but their existing store, comprising two conjoined shops, was unsuitable for their 21st century trading format.
Wright & Partners immediately recognised that Boots would be vacating their existing premises and, having introduced this development opportunity to a client, negotiated a virtually off market deal for them which would complete once Boots were trading in their new premises and had cleared out their former store. Completion duly took place in December 2009.
The property comprised approximately 32,000sf over three floors with frontages to both Coney Street and Market Street. The Coney Street facade was listed and the whole store lay within the central York Conservation Area and any development would have to be managed sensitively.
Whilst the store had constraints because of its age and location, it did offer the flexibility to be traded as a single shop or divided into two or three unit shops with frontages on to Coney Street and Market Street. In the event, the store was let to a single operator, TK Maxx, who took occupation following minor refurbishment works in June 2010.
The covenant strength of the tenant and the distinguished location created a property investment of the highest quality. Demand for investments of this quality was high in late Spring 2010. Wright & Partners advised the client that this was the optimum time to dispose of this investment property and following a discreet marketing exercise we identified several potential purchasers with the sale completing in July 2010 at a price reflecting a particularly aggressive yield of 5.1%.
Wright & Partners advised throughout on a project with which the client was hugely satisfied. A prime freehold development opportunity had been acquired in a non competitive manner, had been let quickly in its entirety to a top quality tenant on a very secure lease; the subsequent investment had been sold during a very strong period in the market, and all over a period of only seven months.
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