15 – 19 Downham Way

Downham

A former NatWest premises, the property was acquired in the open market.

Through its retail agency contacts, BHP was aware of a number of betting shop requirements for Downham.

Coral already had a betting shop in the town and were very aggressive in securing the premises with a specific objective of preventing competition.

A lease was agreed subject to planning for an amended shop front and, following receipt of consent, a lease was completed.

The planning consent included a conversion of the upper parts to residential which was duly undertaken.

The retail was sold at auction and the apartments by private treaty.

STRENGTHS

  • Existing A2 use
  • Known A2 betting shop occupier requirements
  • Upper parts suitable for conversion to apartments

OPPORTUNITIES

  • To secure a very advantageous rental from Coral due to their business strategy of preventing competitor access to Downham
  • To refurbish the upper parts for residential

WEAKNESSES

  • Apartments of limited value
  • Whilst strong A2 demand was evident, it was subject to planning for altered shop fronts
  • The property was within a conservation area

Threats

  • Downham residential values had limited scope for improvement
  • The quality of buyer was likely to lead to significant false starts in residential sales
  • Planning risk due to inclusion within the conservation area