The council has made a number of purchases to facilitate the masterplan. Credit: via ASAP PR

Sunderland makes another retail buy

The former Mothercare and Argos stores on High Street West have been acquired, allowing the local authority to redevelop the building as part of the Riverside Sunderland masterplan.

Advised by Watling Real Estate, Sunderland City Council has acquired 68-71 High Street West for an undisclosed sum as it looks to assemble the sites necessary to advance the remaining parts of Riverside Sunderland.

The council has taken on a variety of high street properties as part of its programme to reposition the city centre. Among the projects it has advanced are 1470-175 High Street West, workspace at Mackies Corner, and the just-completed revamp of the listed Elephant Tea Rooms.

Andrew Foster and Chris Walker of Watling Real Estate had been appointed joint Law of Property Act receivers to High Street West Sunderland Ltd.

The sale to the council will enable the redevelopment of the former Mothercare and Argos units, which total 34,753 sq ft, as part of the masterplan, which covers the creation of 10,000 jobs and 1,000 new homes for 2,500 residents in the area.

Foster, joint managing director of Watling Real Estate, said: “We recognised Sunderland City Council’s plans to regenerate this area, and we were keen to work in partnership to help them fulfil their vision for this part of the City.”

“This property specifically, will play an incredibly important role in the Riverside Sunderland masterplan, as its regeneration acts to connect and unify the Riverside redevelopment with the retail heart of Sunderland city centre.”

“I am pleased we have been able to agree a sale of this key part of the jigsaw, enabling the council to take their regeneration plans to the next stage.”

Law firm Walker Morris acted for Watling Real Estate and Sunderland City Council was advised by its in-house legal team.

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