Commercial property market springs into life

The Claremont Lions Hotel Grand Parade, Eastbourne. Sold by Lions Hotels to Daish Hotel Group. January 22nd 2013 E04087P
The Claremont Lions Hotel Grand Parade, Eastbourne. Sold by Lions Hotels to Daish Hotel Group. January 22nd 2013 E04087P

Things are looking up for the commercial property market in Eastbourne, according to experts.

Agents in the town say in recent months the commercial market has “sprung into life” and while residential agents have found their volume of sales increasing, it is on the commercial side of the market where new activity has been most marked.

The success stories include a new IVF clinic in the town centre, new owners at the Claremont Hotel on the seafront, and work getting underway at the Ambassador Hotel.

Mike Reid at Reid + Dean said, “After five years in the doldrums the commercial market has sprung to life and there are good signs all around. Pay a visit to the Arndale Centre and you will see it is almost full with River Island opening and a host of smaller businesses now being represented.

“Look in Terminus Road and there is Patisserie Valerie, and opposite the station the terrace which was an eyesore just 12 months ago is all sold or let with refurbishments taking place and new businesses moving in.

“In Hampden Park, Morrisons have just opened their biggest store in the UK.

“The Ambassador hotel was first to sell in 2012 and is now being completely revamped to four star standard. Earlier this month saw the sale of the 70 bedroom Claremont Hotel opposite the Pier to Daishs.

“The Carlton Court also has a new owner.”

Mr Reid said, “There are two substantial residential investments which have changed hands in recent weeks, the first being The Whitehall Apartments in Howard Square and the second being Travancore opposite the Congress Theatre. Both have more than 20 apartments.

“On the retail front Reid+Dean have engineered a transaction where Sainsbury’s have taken five adjoining shop units in Seaside and building is now in the process to create a single unit.

“The former snooker hall above the shops has been converted into 12 new flats which will be marketed soon.

“The completion of this development will make a significant contribution to the appearance and vitality of this part of the town

“At Esher House in St Leonards Road, a derelict 13,000 sq ft office building has been acquired and a planning application is about to be submitted to convert it into an IVF clinic.

“The turnaround has been astonishing,” said Mr Reid. “We have seen more commercial transactions in 2012 than for the previous four years combined, and the quality, size and effect of some of those will make a big difference to the presentation and economy of Eastbourne.”