Cambridge & Counties

Challenger bank funds department store acquisition

Cambridge & Counties has provided funding for the acquisition of a former department store which is to be converted into a mixed-use development.

The former Fenwick store in Leicester is to become a mixed-use scheme of leisure and retail along with much-needed apartments for the city centre.

The iconic store was purchased by developer Aimrok Holdings for a seven-figure sum and it is currently seeking approval for four retail units, a champagne bar, restaurant and gym across the basement and ground floor.

The developer also aims to build 90 high-end apartments for rent in the building’s upper floors, while the new development is set to create 150 jobs during the build and following its completion.

“The purchase of this iconic building in Leicester is really important to us,” said Vijay Patel of Aimrok.

“It has a great deal of history and our plans will create an exciting concept for Leicester and will secure the building’s future.

“By creating a mixed-use scheme, the building has a future which is sustainable for many years to come.”

Adam Jolley, business development manager at Cambridge & Counties, said it was great to team up with a number of local advisers to secure a bright future for the Leicester landmark.

“The new owners are highly experienced and their vision of developing this iconic city centre building will breathe new life into Market Street and attract further investment into this area of the city.”

Nelsons Solicitors acted for Aimrok and James Coningsby, head of commercial property at the law firm, said the development will invigorate the Market Street area of the city.

“The Aimrok plans will secure the building’s future, create employment during the building and after its completion.

“The new owner will be creating a significant development in an employment district.

“This, coupled with a high-end bar and restaurant, will really appeal to office workers and fit well with the surroundings.”

James Bradley of RG+P, the Leicester-based architects, said it intends to maintain the façade, but modernise parts of the building to increase longevity.

“This is a very well-known building in Leicester.

“In order to ensure the building is sustainable and that it is around for another 100 years, we want to adapt it so it is suitable for a range of uses.”

Martin Herbert of Space Retail Property Consultants, who advised Aimrok, said it has had interest from several occupiers.

“We look forward to working with all stakeholders in creating a special mixed-use scheme to help to further regenerate the southern sector of the city centre, feeding off the recent office lettings and commercial activity in New Walk and Welford Place.”

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