Improving sentiment in the retail sector has been reflected by four recent lettings at St Elli Shopping Centre in the heart of Llanelli, which has brought the scheme to almost full occupation. Joint letting agents Cooke & Arkwright have leased four units at the centre to Burger King, Yours Clothing, Mobile Buddy and Emilia May Gifts on behalf of the owner, NewRiver Retail. The leading specialist REIT, which is focussed on the UK food and value retail sector, purchased St Elli shopping centre from Axa for almost £30m at the end of 2013.
Millennium Stadium is celebrating its 15th birthday with news of a boost to its finances after learning that it has been successful with its appeal against the rateable value ascribed to the Stadium. The Stadium, which is wholly owned by the Welsh Rugby Union, will benefit from rates savings of almost £3.5m over the period 2005 to 2017. These savings will allow the WRU to further invest in rugby at all levels.
Admiral Group’s newly constructed primary office building in Newport has been sold to leading global Real Estate Investment Trust, W. P. Carey Inc for approximately £20m. The 83,000 sq ft office building, which is let to Admiral Group for 20 years, is part of Scarborough Group International’s redevelopment of the former Cambrian Centre opposite the newly developed railway station. Cooke & Arkwright acted as joint agents on behalf of Scarborough Group in the deal.
The Royal British Legion has acquired by Lease two floors of Alliance House at the juncture between High Street and Mary Street, close to Cardiff Castle. The ground floor will house one of 16 new ‘Pop In’ advice and information centres that the charity is opening around the country following three years of development and restructuring. It will act as a first port of call for Service personnel, veterans and their families and is due to open in October. Cooke & Arkwright acted on behalf of the landlord, Alliance House Properties Ltd in the deal.
Queensberry Real Estate announces the appointment of Cooke & Arkwright as the new retail letting agent for Friars Walk, the 390,000 sqft shopping and leisure development in Newport city centre due to open Autumn 2015. Cooke & Arkwright is the third letting agent working on the scheme and joins national agents Lunson Mitchenall and Strutt and Parker. Cooke & Arkwright is the one of the largest independent practices in Wales and provides a full range of multi-disciplinary services. Based in Cardiff and with strong links to Newport, the firm is already extremely active in Newport City Centre and the wider catchment area.
The first Welsh-language, Organic Day Nursery in Cardiff is set to open in the former St Anne’s Church-in-Wales school in Roath in October. The former school was closed a year ago as part of Cardiff Council’s reorganisation of the city’s educational facilities. Meithrinfa Y Pelican, or The Pelican Nursery will bring a new lease of life to the building and provide a nurturing, ‘learn-through-play’ environment for both Welsh and non-Welsh speaking families in as eco-friendly environment as possible. The 3,070 sq ft school in Croft Street, Roath in Cardiff has been leased to the nursery by Cooke & Arkwright, acting on behalf of the Representative Body of the Church in Wales
A Grade II Listed converted Post Office in the heart of the historic village of St Fagans, is re-opening in July 2014 as ‘Old Post House’. The property has been leased and is being modernised and fitted out by local businessmen, Chris Price and Phil Davison-Sebry, who will run it as a Bed & Breakfast with six en-suite bedrooms, a function and events venue, and a ‘pop-up’ restaurant. It will also separately house their existing successful catering company, Business Lunch Company. Chris Hyde, Associate with Cooke & Arkwright’s Rural Department, which acts as managing agent for the freeholders of the property commented:
In a move reflecting the growing desire of consumers to know where their meat has come from, independent butchers shop, Farmers Pantry has opened in Whitchurch Cardiff. The business, which supplies meat to rugby clubs including Cardiff Blues and Llanelli Scarlets, is expanding its successful enterprise in Llantwit Major, where director and local farmer, Rhodri Davies first opened a shop to sell his own farm meat direct in October 2011. The ‘Field to Fork’ formula did so well that he moved to larger premises in March, and has now ventured into the capital city. The new shop is located on a prominent corner of Merthyr Road in Whitchurch and was secured in a deal negotiated with landlord H Woodley & Co by Cooke & Arkwright.
Danish jewellery retailer Pandora, one of the fastest growing jewellery brands in the world, has opened a new store in Commercial Street, Newport, demonstrating a vote of confidence in the city’s future by South Wales retailer and franchisee, Stephen Hughes. Eight new members of staff have been recruited from Newport, including a new manager and assistant manager, and over £350,000 has been invested in the store which opened on 14 June 2014. It is Stephen Hughes’ third Pandora venture in South Wales, following the success of his outlets in Swansea and Carmarthen. Huw Thomas of Cooke & Arkwright acted for the private landlord in the deal and Stephen Kane & Co acted for Pandora.
A new office in Cardiff opened by Charles Stanley, the London-headquartered stockbroking and investment management company, has reported that growth in the Welsh arm of the business has far exceeded expectations in its first few weeks of trading. Andrew Stansfield, Branch Manager in Cardiff said that a pattern had developed of private banks and some brokers moving away from advisory services and increasing the entry levels to new clients for bespoke portfolio management. This is where he saw a niche developing.