Custodian REIT acquires retail units on historic Chester Rows for £2.75m

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Custodian REIT PLC has acquired one of the iconic ‘Rows’ properties in Eastgate Street in Chester City Centre for £2.75 million.

Constructed in circa 1860, the grade II listed building is one of the city centre’s iconic black and white ‘Chester Rows’ properties. Supported by decorative cantilevers and accessed at ground level and via a first floor covered walkway, the properties are unique to Chester and one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions.

To facilitate the deal, commercial property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (‘LSH’) was appointed to carry out a pre-acquisition survey of the Victorian building and pre-purchase valuation for the multi-let retail units.

Situated in Chester’s retail centre, the property incorporates two separate units, a high-street jeweller at street level and a leather-goods shop at row level. Arranged over four stories as well as a basement, the total cumulative floor area covers 4,843 sq ft.

Custodian REIT has recently purchased the two adjacent properties on Eastgate Street and continues to look for other investment opportunities.

Commenting on the acquisition, Richard Shepherd-Cross, Managing Director of Custodian Capital Limited (the Company’s discretionary investment manager), said:

“We are delighted to have acquired this prominent unit within Chester’s prime retail pitch.  Chester is a leading destination for retail in the region due to a thriving tourism industry and excellent transport links. The unit adjoins two properties held by Custodian REIT, providing a ‘marriage value’ which we expect to result in an overall valuation increase for the combined lot.”

Chris Lowther, Director of Building Consultancy at LSH in Manchester, said: “The Chester Rows retail units attract a high footfall and are subsequently very desirable as investment properties. However, given their age, design and listing status, it is critical an investor has a clear understanding of the operational implications and leasing structure to ensure the statutory, title and financial risks are adequately reflected within the investment strategy”.