TJ Hughes store to be auctioned

TJ Hughes Store.

TJ Hughes Store. - Credit: Archant

THE derelict TJ Hughes building will go under the hammer today (Tues) after its price was slashed by almost £500,000 in an effort to get it sold.

The High Street store has stood empty for more than two years since the retailer went into administration but it will be auctioned off in London.

CBRE will be carrying out the auction and has put a £750,000 guide price on the five-floor unit.

David Margolis, who is involved in the auction for CBRE, said viewings of the site took place last week and will again this week.

He said: “We were appointed receivers for this some time ago.

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“It was on the market privately for £1-1.2million and it failed to sell so we have turned to an auction.

“There are a number of interested parties and a number of people are going to look round this week.”

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When pushed to give more information about the potential interest, Mr Margolis added: “It is difficult to say if they are retailers or possibly investors with retailers already in mind.”

Primark has refused to comment on speculation linking it with taking on the unit previously, despite overwhelming public support from Mercury readers.

In May, town centre manager Steve Townsend called on people to contact the clothing retailer asking for them to come to Weston and a Facebook petition was created with about 4,000 people signing up in just one week.

The former TJ Hughes building has been empty since August 2011 when it shut for the final time resulting in more than 50 jobs being lost.

Mr Margolis is confident the empty unit will sell now the price has been reduced by 37.5 per cent.

A reserve price has not yet been set in case the ‘interested parties’ fail to follow up enquiries with a formal bid, although the Mercury has been told it will be set no higher than the £750,000 guide price.

With building work set to start on the leisure sector at Dolphin Square in the coming months, Mr Margolis said the former TJ Hughes building is an attractive proposition.

He said the two projects were linked by their difficulties in attracting retailers and is confident that positive news for one will help the other in the long-term.

The auction will be held this afternoon at the Millennium Hotel in Mayfair.

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