Romford Market's Debenhams building sold for £12million as developers eye up 'potential to build flats'
PUBLISHED: 11:37 04 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:37 04 December 2019
Jon Paul Ladd 2019
The Debenhams building in Romford Market Place has been sold to an as-yet unnamed developer for £12million, real estate giants Savills have revealed.
Savills, alongside CBRE - an American real estate investment group - has sold 56-72 Market Place in Romford on behalf of a private Irish client for £12 million.
The 228,066sq ft property occupies a 1.37 acre site and is let on a single lease to Debenhams, which currently pays £845,000 a year to use the site.
It is currently unclear if Debenhams will remain in the storefront or not.
The fact that the building fronts the Market Place and sits within Romford's main shopping district, alongside the fact it is so close to both the Liberty Shopping Centre and The Brewery Shopping Centre is believed to have attracted a lot of interest.
Prospective buyers were also interested in the mixed-use redevelopment potential of the site according to Savills, and in particular the potential to build flats in a town which has witnessed significant residential value growth in recent years.
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Toby Ogilvie Smals, investment director at Savills, revealed the real estate firm worked closely with Havering Council during the sales process.
He said: "The Debenhams in Romford was a great project to work on and we are delighted to secure such a strong result for our client.
"The preparation of the asset for sale was meticulous, working with architects, planners and the Council in order to present the potential for the asset in the best possible light."
Mark Garmon-Jones, head of Savills shopping centre investment and repurposing, added: "We are seeing considerable appetite for redevelopment and repurposing opportunities as investors and developers look to unlock the latent value in retail centres and assets in Greater London and across the rest of the UK."
And Edward de Jonge, residential development director at Savills, said the firm "expect interest and investment in this town to grow significantly with the planned opening of Crossrail in 2021".
In August, Havering Council revealed it had purchased the Marks & Spencer building in South Street, Romford, as part of the council's long-term vision for a transformed Romford.
At the time, it said that strategy revolves around protecting retail opportunities for businesses and residents through council-owned properties.
The price the council paid for the property was not released for reasons of commercial sensitivity.