Owner of former Debenhams in Sheffield city centre MHA London is selling up after failing to find a tenant

The new owner of the old Debenhams building in Sheffield is selling up in a big blow to city centre revival hopes.

Friday, 22nd April 2022, 12:12 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 1:54 pm

MHA London has announced it has given up trying to find a tenant and is selling the former department store on The Moor.

It comes just a year after it snapped up the five-storey building for a bargain £1.5m after its value collapsed when Debenhams went bust.

Now it will be auctioned off next month with a guide price of £4.5m.

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The auction comes a year after MHA snapped up the five-storey building for a bargain £1.5m after its value collapsed when Debenhams went bust.

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A spokesman for MHA said the increase reflected ‘pre-app’ negotiations they had done with planning officials who had been ‘positive’ about a range of other uses including offices, a hotel and flats.

WHY ARE THE OWNERS SELLING UP?

He added: “We have decided to take our leasehold interest of the former Debenhams department store in Sheffield city centre to the market.

“We feel the asset may benefit from a strategic investor who could potentially unlock and deliver a substantial redevelopment of the site.

“The property sits on a site of approximately one acre, arguably one of the best locations in Sheffield.

“We have explored this positive regeneration potential via a pre-app with the local authority on a mixed-use development including a hotel, residential and commercial uses, which has been positively received.

“The property will be marketed by Allsops residential auctioneers with a guide price of £4.5-£5m.”

There are 42 years left on the lease, he added.

The Debenhams store closed on May 15 last year. It was among 118 branches shut down by administrators with the loss of 12,000 jobs.

MHA bought the building on March 26 for a bargain £1.5m after its value plunged from £2.7m – a saving of £1.2m.

At the time, the plan was to sell it either with planning permission or after the property was refurbished and tenanted.

A use was not mentioned, but a proposal by Sheffield project managers Arup to turn it into a ‘High Street Hospital’ won an award.

But despite encouraging reports from estate agents, no tenant came forward.

Last month, Adrian Wallace, boss of MHA London, said there was interest, but ‘nothing substantial’.

Meanwhile, the former John Lewis on Barker’s Pool and more than 40 per cent of shops on Fargate are unoccupied.

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