Portfolio of Shop investment, vacant shops and mixed-use developments
We sold three commercial investments by auction. One prime, vacant Cheltenham shop appeared to have letting potential but was Grade II listed, and the configuration made it unsuitable for most retailers. We pursued planning to enhance value, but it became apparent that this would be a long process and in the meantime, the property deteriorated.Rather than have a planning refusal on record which would have caused blight, we sold by auction. Finally, a substantial Central London shop with upper floors partly converted to flats without planning or conservation consent. While there was strong interest from developers, we advised the lender to resolve the planning to avoid a substantial discount
Rather than have a planning refusal on record which would have caused blight, we sold by auction. Last, we handled a substantial Central London shop with upper floors, partly converted to flats without planning or conservation consent. While there was strong interest from developers, we advised the lender to resolve the planning to avoid a substantial discount on the sale price. In the meantime, we let the shop to a multiple at 25% above the initial view of rent. With planning in place, we sold the freehold by auction at some 20% above reserve and 30% over the initial view of value.
There was an additional twist in that the bank lent on the basis of leases to two separate companies at inflated rents. When contacted, the true tenant companies denied knowledge of the leases. We told the tenants that we would only accept they were not liable if they reported an alleged fraud to the police. The companies were reluctant to do this because of the time and cost involved. Eventually, we obtained certified copies of the directors’ signatures, which proved that the leases were fraudulent.
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