Saturday, 25 September 2021

Market Place mews to be sold

MARKET Place Mews in Henley will be sold off after its owners went into administration.

MARKET Place Mews in Henley will be sold off after its owners went into administration.

The site is expected to be put on the market after the De Stefano Property Group - the parent company of owners London and Henley Properties - collapsed just before Christmas.

The company has planning permission to redevelop the site, to include 14 flats and 16,000sq ft of retail space.

Jim Tucker and Ed Boyle, of KPMG’s restructuring practice, were appointed joint administrators to the company on December 17.

Mr Tucker, a partner and joint administrator at KPMG, said: “In recent years, the value of the portfolio in relation to the security has fallen such that the appointment of administrators was necessary.

“We will be working with the asset managers of the properties and the KPMG Real Estate team to improve the rental income across the portfolio so as to maximise its value. We envisage bringing the assets to the market in the short to medium term.”

A spokeswoman for the firm said there was no fixed date to bring the properties to the market, but expected it could happen by March.

The De Stefano Group owns retail and commercial properties across the south of England.

London and Henley Properties also owns 20 to 24 Market Place in Henley, which are made up of the Loch Fyne restaurant, Spirited Wines and an empty premises.

The company was granted planning permission to redevelop Market Place Mews in 2007 before being granted an extension by South Oxfordshire District Council in 2010.

Pete McConnell, town centre manager, said he would like to see Market Place Mews remain at its current size with improvements made to turn it into a “real asset” for the town.

He said: “Market Place Mews has been neglected for a while. I would rather see it left as it is, but with a bit of investment to bring it up to a slightly higher standard.”

He said the premises next to the entrance to Market Place Mews had been left empty because businesses had been aware of “ownership issues”.

The former Revolution store closed in May 2013 and was turned into a wedding shop called Brides of Henley for the filming of a television programme in June. It opened as the Christmas Store in December.

Mr McConnell said: “Should a new owner come on board, we will see that property rented quite quickly but, as it stands, while the organisation is in administration, no one is going to, which is a shame.

“There has been some longstanding planning permission for Market Place Mews which the company never actually acted upon.

“It’s very difficult to speculate what might happen because the business is in administration. In an ideal world somebody with some good ideas comes forward and turns that corner of Henley into a real asset.”

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