St Cuthbert’s Arcade, which opened following extensive renovations in Spring 2018, is up for sale with a guide price of over half a million pounds.
The former car showroom on Bedford’s St Cuthbert’s Street is being offered via auctioneers Acuitus with a guide price of £550,000 to £650,000.
Home to start-up independent businesses including Retro Independent, En Pointe Clothing and Lola’s Garden, the St Cuthbert’s Arcade comprises 17 retail units let to local, independent traders and produces a current annual rent of £82,800.
The former car showroom had been neglected for many years before the current landlord undertook a full renovation, with a new roof and sympathetically restored frontage in keeping with its heritage location.
Rosanna Heasman of The Store, took over the front anchor unit in August 2019. A refill shop, The Store is unique in Bedford and the surrounding area and is a destination for customers seeking to shop more ethically and sustainably.
“The current landlord has done an amazing job of renovating the Arcade,” said Rosanna. “It’s a great street, a great location and is a fantastic opportunity for a new landlord with creative vision to work collaboratively with the tenants to really make the Arcade thrive.
“There’s a ready-made team here of like-minded businesses, ready to work together with the new owner. I’m optimistic about the change.”
While changing shopping habits and the impact of austerity have decimated traditional high streets and chain stores, niche areas like St Cuthbert’s and its surrounding streets have been bucking the trend.
“St Cuthbert’s Street has attracted some unique independent retailers, offering the kind of customer experience that chain stores aren’t able to,” said Charlotte Gorringe of Explore Bedford.
“With more independent businesses than Cambridge, Bedford is a destination for shoppers who are looking for something different.
“The area around St Cuthbert’s – surrounding the theatre and near to the town’s cultural quarter – has blossomed over the last few years, thanks to the entrepreneurial spirit and vision of the independent business investing in Bedford town centre.
“The Arcade has enormous potential.”
John Mehtab of Acuitus comments, “The sale of St Cuthbert’s Arcade offers the opportunity to own a multi-let retail property producing good income.
“Situated off Bedford’s busy shopping area, it benefits from a unique offer in a strong location.”
The auction takes place at The Montcalm Hotel, London, W1H 7TN on 12 February.