New owners of Debenhams in Sheffield city centre issue statement on its future

The new owners of the Debenhams building in Sheffield city centre say they are ‘exploring all avenues to transform this prime location’.

By David Walsh
Thursday, 2nd September 2021, 4:33 pm

London-based property company MHA bought the leasehold in March for £1.5m.

The department store on The Moor closed for good in May. Three months on, there is growing interest in the future of the prominent site.

An MHA spokesman said: “MHA has acquired a leasehold interest in the former Debenhams site and is exploring all avenues to transform this prime location on The Moor.

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Debenhams on The Moor before it closed.

“The site sits within the Heart of the City II Masterplan which anticipates strong regional growth, an increase in employment, better transport links and government investment.

“We could see the site redeveloped to include a mix of uses as well as an improved public realm. MHA is engaging with all parties concerned.”

Nalin Seneviratne, director of city centre development at Sheffield City Council, confirmed he’d had discussions with MHA.

He added: “We look forward to seeing what they come forward with. It would be good to see the site come back into use as quickly as possible.”

Nalin Seneviratne, director of city centre development at Sheffield Council.

MHA is based on Bruton Street in Mayfair in central London. It was founded by property entrepreneur Hossein Abedinzadeh and is an investment and development company with commercial, residential, retail and mixed-use properties largely in central London.

Adrian Wallace is chief executive. A former property lawyer, he joined in September 2019 to lead the growth and development of the business.

The firm’s website states: ‘MHA makes efficient and forward thinking investment decisions, with integrity and professionalism at the heart of its business approach… since 2015, MHA has completed transactions in excess of £400m’.

The Moor is owned by property company NewRiver which is the ‘head leaseholder’ of the Debenhams building. The firm has been approached for comment.

Sheffield City Council is the freeholder of The Moor estate on a 250-year lease acquired by NewRiver from Aberdeen Standard in February.

Earlier this week project managers Arup unveiled a plan to reopen it as a hospital.

The firm argued it would have good transport links, promote healthy lifestyles, support shops and save carbon emissions by re-using existing buildings. It would also free up space in the city’s existing hospitals.

The idea won a ‘Light Bulb’ award in the prestigious Wolfson Economics Prize.

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Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor.