New lettings in Liverpool city center
In Liverpool city center, three new leases were signed earlier this year. In 81 Lord Street, TSB bank is taking part of ground floor of the listed red brick building. Behind this property, in Rainford Square, Roxy Lanes is opening a bowling alley in combination with several other leisure activities. This two story building was formerly home to the BHS café and is located in the Beatles area, for which the city has announced big plans. Finally, at the north end of Church Street, O2 are taking the unit previously occupied by Poundworld.
These lettings show that in times of increasing uncertainty about city center retail, Liverpool’s prime pitch continues to be attractive to a variety of potential tenants.
Vabeld creating serviced apartments above retail strip on Liverpool’s prime pitch
After the valuation office left the office space in 58-72 Church Street, Vabeld worked with Quest Aparthotels, Australasia’s largest operator of aparthotels and serviced apartments with an inventory of 165 hotels, to build its first UK project in Liverpool. Planning was received to create 100 serviced apartments by adding 2 floors on top of the existing property. Works are already well underway and should be finished by mid 2019. This will be Vabeld UK’s first hotel investment after purchasing several this year in its core market in Belgium.
H&M Flagship store for Liverpool on Lord Street
Vabeld UK is proud to announce that its former BHS store on Lord Street will be the new H&M flagship store in Liverpool. Opening is scheduled for November 30.
After BHS’ demise in 2016, Vabeld worked together with H&M to get planning for a complete renovation of this impressive property, including a brand new façade. The rear area located on Rainford Square, where BHS café used to be , will be let separately to a leisure operator. Vabeld worked together with architects from FCH, GIA project management and Mason Owen to achieve this result. We are convinced that this will be a game changer for Lord Street, bringing it much closer in terms of retailer’s appeal to nearby Church Street and Paradise Street. Vabeld is now focused on redeveloping and letting the adjacent listed red brick building on 81-89 Lord Street.
More prime leisure locations in Antwerp and Bruges
Vabeld has purchased its third property on the famous De Keyserlei in 2 years.
Five Guys having opened earlier this year, works on De Keyserlei 43 have started with the objective of having our tenant, Boulangerie Paul open before year end. Still a bit further towards the station, Vabeld has now acquired another property let to Boston Steak house from an private owner. It underlines our belief in this location as a solid leisure location for the future. Furthermore, Vabeld has also already concluded a smaller fourth acquisition on the De Keyserlei, for which more details are to follow at a later time.
In Bruges, we were able to buy Simon Stevinplein 12 from a professional retail investor. The unit has been rented to Otomat, the pizza chain serving pizza based on dough infused with beer which opened already in Ghent, Antwerp and Leuven. Fit out works are underway and the opening is scheduled for July.
In addition to 2 restaurants, Vabeld also acquired 2 hotels in the first half of the year.
In Antwerp, we purchased the Quality Inn from a private owner operator. The hotel has 47 rooms, is located very close to the Operaplein and a minute away from the famous Meir/Leysstraat and has a 4**** classification. The hotel is now let to a private operator which already rents another hotel from us but still under the Quality brand, which is part of Choice Hotels, one of the largest hotel brands in the world.
Finally, in Bruges again, we acquired Hotel du Grand Sablon, the oldest hotel in the heart of the town which currently has 20 rooms but with building consent to convert the hotel into a 4**** high end product with 43 rooms. A long term contract is signed with an independent operator.
More leisure investments are currently being considered.
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In light of our continuous growth, your retail asset(s), whether located in Belgium or elsewhere might be of interest to us. Are you considering selling commercial real estate or do you know someone who wishes to do so, do not hesitate to contact us, with no obligation on your part. We do not act as a broker and discretion can be guaranteed. If you are interested in one of our properties for sale or for rent, do not hesitate to phone or e-mail us.