A property company has been acquiring empty retail units in a once vibrant part of Nottingham city centre with the aim of bringing the area back to life.
ALB Group has to date acquired 11 properties in Bridlesmith Gate and a further three units in nearby Lister Gate, including the former Shoezone store.
A combination of Brexit, Covid-19 and the growth in online retail has forced many traders to shut up shop recently.
But Nottingham born Arran Bailey, managing director of ALB, has kick-started a resurgence by snapping up shops that are home to businesses such as designer fashion store 18Montrose, Fred Perry, and Coco Tang café and cocktail bar.
And he is determined to put an end to the traditional high rents and long leases that landlords have previously demanded in the city, by making the units more affordable, with shorter lease periods.
ALB is teaming up with Nottingham-based Box Property Consultants to bring in a new, exciting generation of independent retailers and coffee shops to help make this area of Nottingham great again, akin to London’s Carnaby Street in London.
Ben Tebbutt, director of Box Property Consultants, said: “Arran’s approach is hugely refreshing. ” – and he has an immense passion for our city.
“It’s true that there are a lot of empty units in this area of Nottingham, but on the back of these empty units comes opportunity. As a collective we could create something special on Bridlesmith Gate to help bring the street back to its former glory. This is a great opportunity for new, independent operators to acquire premises with affordable rents.
Frankie Labbate – co director at Box added “ Sneakrverse who occupy one of the units on flexible terms are a great example of how new retail talent can shine in a once out of reach location” Its these type of new and on trend operators that customers want to see and spent their money with”
The team behind the regeneration are looking forward to working closely with Nottingham City Council and the Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID) programme, who also share the vision for improvement.
Arran Bailey said: “We want to make this area cool again – bring a vibrancy back that Nottingham was once known for. We want to see this part of Nottingham get a buzz like we’ve seen in areas like Hockley.
“With the neighbouring Broadmarsh regeneration core to this end of the city centre, we want to also encourage independent retailers, restaurants, bars and coffee shops to get on board and embrace our vision for a reawakened café culture and thriving retail district.”
The ALB Group was advised by Phil Daniels at FHP on the purchase, Phil said “I am pleased to have been able to advise and work with ALB on the acquisition of two substantial blocks of commercial property on Bridlesmith Gate. ALB are actively seeking further blocks in Nottingham City Centre which I am actively assisting on their behalf.”
Rebecca Toates, Partner at Browne Jacobson who assisted ALB with acquiring the building, said: ““We are delighted to have assisted ALB Group in acquiring this important part of Nottingham’s retail landscape. We know that they are really invested in supporting and regenerating the high street and this purchase sets out their strong commitment to local Nottingham businesses which we fully support.”