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Old February 20th, 2010, 01:15 PM   #121
AngerOfTheNorth
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Wow - the deal with Clipper, bringing jobs to the region, was signed just a day or so before Brown, Darling et al suddenly came up for a visit to the North East! What's the chances of that?!
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Old February 24th, 2010, 06:45 PM   #122
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Matterhorn Palos Partnership buy in Newcastle

Matterhorn Palos Partnership, a joint venture between Simon Conway and Anthony Lyons and Brett Palos, has bought an office, leisure and retail block in Newcastle City Centre.

It has bought Earl Grey House and Barclays House - adjacent listed buildings totalling 90,000 sq ft – which are let to tenants including Barclays Bank, Grant Thornton, 20:20 Optical, Vidal Sassoon, Moben Kitchen and Costa Coffee.

It has paid £19.75m, reflecting a net initial yield of 8.5%. Matterhorn Palos Partnership secured a £20m pound funding package from the Corporate Real Estate team at Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets for the purchase.

The price paid reflects a net initial yield of 8.5%.

Anthony Lyons, co-owner of Matterhorn Capital, said: “The key to completing this transaction was moving quickly with the support of a strong financial partner that shared our vision and knew the market inside out.”

Justin Snoxell, lead relationship director for Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets, said: “Through this deal, Matterhorn has acquired two striking buildings in an excellent location with strong tenants. The business is just the sort of ambitious and well-run firm we like to work with and we look forward to a long and productive relationship with Anthony and his partners.”

Lloyds TSB worked closely with the Newcastle teams of surveyors and solicitors Burges Salmon to complete the deal.

The deal is the latest in a group of purchases that Matterhorn Palos Partnership has completed. Earlier this month it bought three hospital sites from Quintain and Aviva Investors Quercas joint venture.

Palos’ Palos Investments and Conway and Lyons’ Matterhorn Capital formed Matterhorn Palos Partnership last year and their debut purchase was Capital & Regional and Hermes’ X-Leisure Fund’s £92.5m O2 scheme on Finchley Road in London last March.

Since then the fund has bought around £50 of smaller assets of around £5m each and the latest was the Quercas assets.

Matterhorn Palos Partnership was advised Western Ridge. DTZ advised the private investor vendor. King Sturge advised Lloyds.
http://www.propertyweek.com/story.as...de=3158478&c=1
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Old February 24th, 2010, 06:46 PM   #123
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I'm unaware of a property news thread so perhaps the title of this thread could be changed to "Newcastle Business & Property News"?
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Old February 24th, 2010, 07:32 PM   #124
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I'm unaware of a property news thread so perhaps the title of this thread could be changed to "Newcastle Business & Property News"?
Seems a good idea.

I take it you mean for 'property transactions' (buying and selling of buildings) as opposed to the physical alterations to buildings, that would be covered on the various Project threads?
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Old February 24th, 2010, 07:49 PM   #125
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Seems a good idea.

I take it you mean for 'property transactions' (buying and selling of buildings) as opposed to the physical alterations to buildings, that would be covered on the various Project threads?
Yeah thats what I mean.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 12:44 PM   #126
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Looking at the articles about Clipper from a few days ago it really does seem strange that the steelworks at Teesside are being shut down. Surely it would be worth investing in when they're producing hundreds of turbines at 4,400 tonnes of steel a pop?
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Old February 25th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #127
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Northern Rock sale closer as safety net removed
THE sale of Northern Rock by the Government has come a step closer after the lender confirmed that savers would no longer be protected by the Government’s 100% guarantee.

The guarantee on all deposits held with the Newcastle-based bank was put in place in September 2007 in a bid to halt the first run on a bank in more than a century.

But now the state-owned Rock plans to lift it on May 24, putting savers in the same position as those with deposits at other banks. It says the safety net is no longer necessary because of the bank’s strong financial position.

Northern Rock was given greater freedom to compete for new deposits at the start of the year after limitations on its share of the market were lifted. Rival banks and building societies had argued the 100% guarantee gave the state-owned bank an unfair advantage.

Once the guarantee is removed, Rock savers will be covered by the terms of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), offering Government protection for up to £50,000 in savings per person. However, Rock savers who took out fixed term accounts during the 100% guarantee period will retain that protection for the lifetime of the product.

Rock chief executive, Gary Hoffman, said: “This is another positive step in the right direction and the decision reflects our good progress and the strong capital position of Northern Rock.

“The company is returning to a level playing field and our savers will enjoy exactly the same level of protection, under FSCS, as customers of other UK banks and building societies.”

The bank said it had written to all its saving customers to inform them about the changes. The Rock was split in two on January 1 ahead of moves to sell the ‘good’ part back to the private sector. City Minister Lord Myners said that removing the 100% guarantee showed how far the bank’s restructuring had progressed.

He said: “Depositors can have confidence in Northern Rock. Our goal is to see the taxpayer get a good return on its investment in the bank and for Northern Rock to focus on providing an excellent service to its customers.”

The ‘good’ bank, known as Northern Rock, will be sold off. It holds savings deposits of £19bn, £10bn of quality mortgages and 76 branches. The ‘bad’ Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) has £50bn of mortgages and £4.5bn of unsecured loans. It is likely to remain in public ownership and may be merged with the state-owned Bradford & Bingley mortgage book.

The lifting of the guarantee in May is the last major hurdle to be overcome before the sale of the bank. Mr Hoffman told The Journal this week he was in “informal discussions with potential buyers” but had no deadline for a sale and would not comment on the identity of buyers – although speculation has centred on retail giant Tesco and Richard Branson’s Virgin Bank.
http://www.journallive.co.uk/north-e...1634-25909584/
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Old February 25th, 2010, 01:44 PM   #128
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Tesco bank holds recruitment day in Newcastle
Tesco Bank is to hold the first of two recruitment days in Newcastle at which it hopes to attract 1,000 potential employees from the North East.

The UK's largest supermarket bank is aiming to fill 500 call centre jobs by the end of the year.

The centre will be based at a new building at Quorum Business Park.

Both open days are to be held at St James' Park. The first starts on Thursday 1600 BST and the second will run throughout Saturday.

The firm are recruiting for team managers, coaches and customer service representatives, who will manage customer sales and service for the bank's home and motor insurance customers.

A £2m grant was provided by regional development agency One North East to attract the firm to the city.

Matthew Dransfield from Tesco Bank, said the company were looking for people with relevant customer service experience.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/tyne/8536100.stm
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Old February 26th, 2010, 02:00 PM   #129
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Office market looking up so consider move
Newcastle's office market slumped last year but there are signs of a recovery. Property experts outline their reasons to be cheerful.

THE last quarter of 2009 saw increased activity in the city-centre office market, the best quarter of the year perhaps showing the start of a return of occupier confidence.

There were a number of significant transactions including lettings of 22,500sq ft to Deloitte at 1 Trinity and for NEPIA 26,000sq ft, Santander 3,800sq ft, 1NG/NGI 10,000sq ft – the last three lettings being at Baltic Place, Gateshead Quays.

The importance of Gateshead to the city-centre market should not be underestimated. The provision of the Quaylink transport service and the Millennium Bridge have brought together the Newcastle and Gateshead waterfronts.

The new level of connectivity has enlarged the city-centre office market, encouraging new groundbreaking schemes such as Baltic Place and Baltic Business Quarter. This has resulted in occupiers being provided with new locations to consider, along with an improved benchmark of building design.

The supply of new Grade A office stock will be limited in 2010, with perhaps only one new-build scheme being brought to the market, Wellbar Central being a 120,000sq ft new office building at St James/Gallowgate.

Other significant schemes that have recently been completed and are available now in the market place include 41,000sq ft at The Hub, Haymarket, and 35,000sq ft at East Quay 5, which is perhaps the final piece in the regeneration of the Newcastle Quayside.

While new supply to the market of Grade A space is likely to be limited during 2010 and into 2011, what is clear is that there is a variety of locations available – giving occupiers a degree of choice when considering locations within the city centre and surrounds.

On the matter of rents, there has been an easing of rents and an increase in tenant incentive packages, but all it will need is a reduction in the availability of stock to see a reduction in incentives.

So the answer may be to relocate now to take advantage of the current prevailing market conditions.

Tony Wordsworth, director of office agency at GVA Grimley, Newcastle

A good time for occupiers to make their move

LETTINGS in Newcastle city centre, the best indicator of how the regional office market is performing, were down 28% in 2009 on a year-on-year comparison basis.

At one stage last year take-up was down 50%, so to end the year with a less pessimistic figure was encouraging, certainly in the light of a troubled national economy. Indeed the analysis of take-up masks a potentially active market.

When enquiries are examined there is room for cautious optimism as presently they range from a number of small occupiers to those with requirements for up to 100,000 sq ft.

So there is life in the market and interestingly enough some locations have come off particularly well during 2009.

For example, Gateshead Quays started 2009 with no lettings and yet City & Northern’s and Robertson’s development, Baltic Place, has let 30% of its 131,000 sq ft.

New occupiers at Baltic Place include a short-term arrangement with a company while its offices on Newcastle Quayside are redeveloped, one is public sector and the other is Santander, a covenant strength of international standards that suggest to me that the Gateshead “postcode barrier” is finally being challenged.

The issue is where will the market move this year? With take-up in 2009 just 125,000 sq ft in the city centre, the traditional undersupply of Grade A space would have created some sort of comfort zone.

However a combination of a lack-lustre lettings market with new buildings such as Wellbar Central coming on stream, availability at the start of this year is now 315,000 sq ft.

This is the most significant injection of space for a number of years and what amounts to approximately two-year supply that will exert pressure on rents.

The supply of very good space at competitive headline rents together with generous incentive packages, it is clearly a very good time for occupiers to make their move.

This also requires a concerted effort to market the region, and Newcastle in particular, as a very good location for regional offices with all the fundamental factors in place – excellent space, competitive occupational costs, very good labour supply at costs well below average regional costs, good communications throughout the UK, into Europe and beyond, and of course the region’s lifestyle.

Developers can engineer their own messages, but Government agencies and other relevant bodies in the public sector must grasp the opportunity to broaden the appeal of the region as a location for businesses and clearly support the commitment shown by the private sector to bring first-class space to the region.

Aidan Baker is director of office agency at BNP Paribas Real Estate.

http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/commerci...1140-25899452/
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Old February 26th, 2010, 02:04 PM   #130
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Leisure market takes a hit but it's not all gloom
It's not all doom and gloom in the North East licensed leisure trade although the decline in the market has had an effect on commercial property, according to experts in the region.

FAMOUS for its nightlife and hospitable atmosphere, the leisure market in the North East has also suffered recently and this has had a knock-on effect on the property market in this sector.

In so far as licensed premises are concerned, most operators in Newcastle would say that there were actually too many in the city and with the drop in trade brought about by the recession, the smoking ban and other factors this has made the market for public houses very difficult.

The situation is even worse in smaller towns and rural locations with record numbers of licensed outlets closing weekly. The situation is compounded in tied houses where the cost of supplies dictated by the landlord is making many outlets uneconomic. Restaurants are reporting the same drop in trade, albeit not so severely.

Restaurants at the better end of the market are reporting steady trade.

The burgeoning hotel market has stalled somewhat. Virtually every scheme in the North East, and Newcastle particularly, of a mixed use nature had a hotel element in it.

The difficulty is that banks will not fund such developments when hoteliers are taking management contracts.

Management contracts do not give a guaranteed return by way of a rent to an owner developer and banks simply cannot cope with the uncertain nature of the return.

Exceptions are few and far between and any hotel transactions tend to have been where they have been long established and up and trading.

The budget hotel market is, however, holding up.

Travelodge is believed to have signed up a deal on the Hanro site next to the Strawberry pub and it was recently announced that Indigo, an Intercontinental Hotel Group brand, is to enter into a deal on Eagle House on Fenkle Street.

Hotel development remains fundable if leases can be agreed and the budget groups are still prepared to enter into leases. Until the four-star market considers taking leases it is unlikely that the development cycle will be unlocked.

Bill Lynn is chief executive at storeys:ssp, Newcastle

Many good reasons to raise a glass

OPINION for the coming year is that the leisure market will be much the same as 2009.

The North East has been hit by the recession particularly as a consequence of the impact on disposable income. Although a number of surveys have indicated that people will not stop spending money on leisure, it is felt that in reality people will be more cautious.

There are a number of factors which will impact on the industry throughout 2010 including the pricing of alcohol by supermarkets and the continuous duty hikes.

Another factor which may impact on the industry will be the general election with signs already indicating that politicians from both the main parties seeking to crack down on the ‘drinking culture’.

It is also anticipated that the main pub companies will still be off-loading pubs to address their debt problems.

There will also be a close eye on the continuing beer tie debate.

Stabilisation was thought to be possible this year but much will depend on Government influences.

The industry has proven in the past to be resilient, particularly in the North East, and it is anticipated to pull through.

However, it is recognised that assistance will be required particularly from the government and mainly in connection with the persistent duties applied on the industry.

There have been some notable closures in Newcastle, but there are also positive signs, with Wetherspoons opening its fourth operation in the city. The Apartment Group has reported increased revenue year on year at its Newcastle and Jesmond establishments and the Ouseburn Circuit is proving very popular.

Operators through 2010 need to recognise that short term fixes are not necessarily the solution and medium to long term investment is required. Operators will need to continue to meet the demands of its clientele and each individual operation will need to work to its strengths.

By Mark Peel, associated director, licence, leisure and hotels, BNP Paribas Real Estate
http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/commerci...1140-25848100/
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Old March 6th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #131
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.
Although at first sight it didn't seem so, after reading this. it sounds like 'good news' for the region . .

Agency Robson Brown sold to American firm
Mar 6 2010 by Iain Laing, The Journal



AFTER a quarter century spent building the region’s biggest advertising and marketing agency, the founders of Robson Brown yesterday sold it to a Californian company . . . which now plans to make it the centre of a nationwide business.

Alan Brown and Stuart Robson will each net millions of pounds from the sale of the firm to Los Angeles agency Round2 and the region’s best known advertising executives plan to start new lives, one as a farmer and property manager, the other as an artist and entrepreneur.

Yesterday they explained that, after years being asked to sell the successful agency, which last year grew its revenues to over £37m, they had waited to find a deal which they felt guaranteed the future of a North East institution and its 95 staff.

RB chairman Mr Robson said last night: “Doing this deal has been an emotional rollercoaster. It’s almost like selling your own baby. But after 26 years you think there are other things you want to do in life.

“We didn’t put it up for sale. They approached us and we heard their ambitions to grow the business from here and keep the brand, particularly against the backdrop of this economic climate, we thought the time is right and this seems too good to be true.”

It was an emotional scene yesterday at the agency’s Clavering Place headquarters in Newcastle, said Mr Brown.

“I am feeling a mixture of excitement and extreme sadness. I have just come from talking to our staff. There were a few men and women of mature years who were in tears and I was quite emotional.

“We are both very close to the business. You cut me in half and I am Robson Brown through and through. We just wanted to see the business grow and grow and I believe this will be a good way to do it.”

The pair, who had worked together in ad agencies and in the creative department of The Journal and Evening Chronicle before setting up in business, both had equal majority shares in the firm.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 10:07 AM   #132
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So from reading TPNE's post Strawberry Place may end up being a Travelodge?

What 'notable closures' in the pub trade were they talking about?
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Old March 6th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #133
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So from reading TPNE's post Strawberry Place may end up being a Travelodge?

What 'notable closures' in the pub trade were they talking about?
Strawberry Place has two components, 7 storey office building as is seen on most of the renders and a 10 storey hotel building behind it. I believe Travelodge have signed up to be the hotel operator.
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Old March 6th, 2010, 07:11 PM   #134
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Strawberry Place has two components, 7 storey office building as is seen on most of the renders and a 10 storey hotel building behind it. I believe Travelodge have signed up to be the hotel operator.
Aah, makes sense. I wonder if that will give them the confidence to go for a speculative build on the office part.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 10:55 AM   #135
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Car dealer hopes new venture will be a towering success
Mar 10 2010 By Chris Knox, The Journal



An autotrader who has branched out into making and selling towers to enable dealerships to expand expects the new business to hit sales of £18m within three years and create more than 36 jobs in the North East.

Last year Steve Hodgson, boss of Newcastle-based dealership Hodgson, set up Autopod Solutions UK with Tony Whelan, of Newcastle builder Whelan Construction. The company will sell units to car dealers which they can cheaply install next to their premises to store and show cars.

The firm is already putting the finishing touches to an eight storey car tower near The Metrocentre in Gateshead, which will sit alongside a new two storey showroom to be opened by Hodgson in later this year.

The pair launched the venture after Mr Hodgson struggled to find the space and investment to open up an additional showroom, a problem that he said had plagued the motor trade before the onset of the economic downturn.

Although the ‘cubes’ are currently being made in Germany, Mr Hodgson plans to shift production to the North East, which would initially create 36 jobs in the region. He expects the business to expand "significantly" as he builds a nationwide market.

The towers, which are also being sold as an environmentally friendly way of increasing showroom space, can be built up to eight levels, holding 32 vehicles, and are held together with a central lift. The pair are also selling mobile prefabricated workshops and small scale multi-storey parking systems.

Mr Hodgson said that he was already in advanced talks with two interested parties and said that he expected to be installing 12 towers and 24 workshops each year by 2013, which would bring a turnover of £18m.

The new business comes at a time when his dealerships business is beginning to feel the effects of the economic downturn, with its profits expected to dip by £500,000 to £1m by the end of the year.

The business, which has increased its workforce by 17 to 150 over the last six months, saw its profits rise by 44% in 2009, with sales growing from 3,847 vehicles to 4,246 vehicles.

But Mr Hodgson said that a shortage of used cars because of the scrappage scheme and cost pressures among motor manufacturers would have a greater impact on its growth this year.

He said: "2009 has seen unprecedented levels of business failures and redundancies within the motor industry, but I believed it was crucial that we focused and concentrated on Hodgson and the future.

"I want to keep the Autopod business separate to Hodgson and believe the structures will become popular among dealerships looking to create more capacity once the market picks up.

"I am also confident that the overall motor trade will begin to pick up next year and I still expect sales growth for Hodgson this year even if profits fall."

Last year saw Hodgson add a Mitsubishi franchise to its existing Mazda, Toyota and Suzuki operations at the Silverlink in North Tyneside.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 12:14 PM   #136
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Car dealer hopes new venture will be a towering success
Mar 10 2010 By Chris Knox, The Journal



An autotrader who has branched out into making and selling towers to enable dealerships to expand expects the new business to hit sales of £18m within three years and create more than 36 jobs in the North East.

Last year Steve Hodgson, boss of Newcastle-based dealership Hodgson, set up Autopod Solutions UK with Tony Whelan, of Newcastle builder Whelan Construction. The company will sell units to car dealers which they can cheaply install next to their premises to store and show cars.

The firm is already putting the finishing touches to an eight storey car tower near The Metrocentre in Gateshead, which will sit alongside a new two storey showroom to be opened by Hodgson in later this year.

The pair launched the venture after Mr Hodgson struggled to find the space and investment to open up an additional showroom, a problem that he said had plagued the motor trade before the onset of the economic downturn.

Although the ‘cubes’ are currently being made in Germany, Mr Hodgson plans to shift production to the North East, which would initially create 36 jobs in the region. He expects the business to expand "significantly" as he builds a nationwide market.

The towers, which are also being sold as an environmentally friendly way of increasing showroom space, can be built up to eight levels, holding 32 vehicles, and are held together with a central lift. The pair are also selling mobile prefabricated workshops and small scale multi-storey parking systems.

Mr Hodgson said that he was already in advanced talks with two interested parties and said that he expected to be installing 12 towers and 24 workshops each year by 2013, which would bring a turnover of £18m.

The new business comes at a time when his dealerships business is beginning to feel the effects of the economic downturn, with its profits expected to dip by £500,000 to £1m by the end of the year.

The business, which has increased its workforce by 17 to 150 over the last six months, saw its profits rise by 44% in 2009, with sales growing from 3,847 vehicles to 4,246 vehicles.

But Mr Hodgson said that a shortage of used cars because of the scrappage scheme and cost pressures among motor manufacturers would have a greater impact on its growth this year.

He said: "2009 has seen unprecedented levels of business failures and redundancies within the motor industry, but I believed it was crucial that we focused and concentrated on Hodgson and the future.

"I want to keep the Autopod business separate to Hodgson and believe the structures will become popular among dealerships looking to create more capacity once the market picks up.

"I am also confident that the overall motor trade will begin to pick up next year and I still expect sales growth for Hodgson this year even if profits fall."

Last year saw Hodgson add a Mitsubishi franchise to its existing Mazda, Toyota and Suzuki operations at the Silverlink in North Tyneside.
Clever idea. Saves space, creates a potentially attractive showcase for the cars and may bring some money to the region. Good to see.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 01:01 PM   #137
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Investor snaps up property in Newcastle
ANOTHER prime Newcastle property has been snapped up by an institutional investor in a deal which shows the return of confidence in prime city centre real estate assets.

The Premier Travel Inn on City Road, Newcastle has been bought from Whitbread for £6.6m by the M&G Secured Property Income Fund, which is part of the Prudential insurance company.

This is one of five Premier Inns offloaded by Whitbread on sale and leaseback agreements with M&G securing a net initial yield of 5.46%.

The other properties are in Chester, Leicester, Thurrock and Plymouth and the total package was sold for £36.6m, with Whitbread agreeing a 25-year lease on the properties.

The Newcastle office of property agents King Sturge acted on behalf of M&G. Dickon Wood, head of investment at King Sturge in Newcastle, said: “This was an excellent deal for our client as they are able to secure a low risk return of 5.46% for a period of 25 years incorporating index linked growth.

“The hotel was part of a package that was acquired in a deal totalling £36,650,000. The low-risk return provides a much better yield than bank savings rates and gilts.”

Last month King Sturge acted for a semi-retired North East businessman who paid £2.83m on a sale and leaseback deal for the Cope Allman Jaycare plant on the New York Industrial Estate, North Tyneside.

The deal saw King Sturge’s client lease the plant back to the current occupiers at a yield of 8.82% until the end of 2024.

Mr Wood added: “In the current climate of low interest rates, unnaturally low interest rates, these type of deals are proving attractive to pension funds. For a company it frees up capital to use in the business and for investors it provides healthy returns.”

There has been a flood of money into commercial property in recent months with investors judging the bottom of the market has been reached and yields outstripping the rates available in bonds, banks, or the fluctuating equity markets.

Deals so far this year have included Rockspring Property Investment Managers acquiring the Precinct in Blaydon from UK Land for £10.1m.

Earl Grey House and Barclays House on Grey Street in Newcastle city centre were snapped up by a London-based property firm for £20m.

And Sunderland-based Cottam Brush and Manchester-based investment business Latate completed separate investment deals at Merchant Court, Monkton South Business Park, Hebburn, totalling £2m.
http://www.nebusiness.co.uk/commerci...1140-25995668/
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Old March 10th, 2010, 06:26 PM   #138
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Interesting idea about the car dealer. I'm not sure how viable a business it is, I mean not every dealership is going to want the same thing.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 06:43 PM   #139
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Originally Posted by NewcastleStu View Post
Interesting idea about the car dealer. I'm not sure how viable a business it is, I mean not every dealership is going to want the same thing.
I don't know, most of the big name dealerships have very similar showrooms and exterior. I think it will only be the stand alone dealerships that won't be interested because of the cost.

You also have to remember that most dealerships in Newcastle city centre and Gateshead town centree are faily old and are in need of refurbishments.
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Old March 10th, 2010, 06:58 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by bigchrisfgb View Post
I don't know, most of the big name dealerships have very similar showrooms and exterior. I think it will only be the stand alone dealerships that won't be interested because of the cost.

You also have to remember that most dealerships in Newcastle city centre and Gateshead town centree are faily old and are in need of refurbishments.
Car dealerships in the Newcastle area seem to be 'grouping' themselves around two places, Scotswood Road and Silverlink.

Obviously, there are plenty of others elsewhere, but it just seems like there are two main 'areas' now.
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