Delight as tenancy interest mounts for closed town centre department store building
New occupants could soon be in store for a prime town centre building – to the delight of traders and council chiefs.
Letting agents acting on behalf of the owners of the former JR Taylor building in St Annes Square report an encouraging level of interest in becoming potential tenants from local, regional and national concerns – almost nine months on from the landmark department store closing its doors after more than 100 years.
The four-storey property is advertised by Blackpool-based Duxburys Commercial as being available for an annual rental price of £137,500 – and the owners are said to be receptive to any suitable proposals for the future occupation of the building at The Square’s junction with Garden Street.
Adam Taylor of Duxburys Commercial said: “The marketing is being carried out with an open mind.
“We have had encouraging interest from local, regional and national parties and the aim is to get the best possible tenants for the building.
We have had encouraging interest from local, regional and national parties and the aim is to get the best possible tenants for the building
“Ideally, it would be good to find a single occupant for the whole building but the owners’ open mind includes the possibility of splitting the property for more than one tenant.
“We are interested in hearing from anyone keen to be involved but of course but uses alternative to retail will be subject to planning permission.”
The JR Taylor store, which included a cafe on the ground floor, closed in January with the loss of some 60 jobs and signs advertising the building for rental via Duxbury’s Commercial first appeared on the whitewashed windows in June.
St Annes Chamber of Trade chairman John Moxham said he was delighted to hear that progress was being made in finding a new tenant - and said his feeling was that the most likely candidates were likely to be national concerns.
“I am pleased to hear that the owners have an open mind on possibly splitting the building because I can’t help thinking that might be the most likely way forward,” he said.
“These days, in various towns and cities, you see possibly retail on one level and cafes or restaurants, for instance, on another.
“There seem to be an increasing number of businesses working together to make the most of such premises and hopefully that could be the case here.
“The town has coped well this summer with the loss of Taylor’s and I think that it can stand it a little longer - it is important to get the right next occupants rather than rushing into anything - but of course it is a vital town centre building and we will all be pleased when it is up and running again in whatever form.”
Darrell Treece-Birch, St Annes Town Council’s newly-appointed town enterprise and promotions officer, said: “I have been going around town meeting traders and business owners and absolutely everyone has asked what I know about the Taylor’s building and when it will be occupied again.
“The fact that there appears to be some progress on a new lease of life for the building will be very welcome indeed.
“It is important for the town to have that building in use.”
The listing of the building on the Duxburys Commercial website promotes it as ‘modern refurbished accommodation throughout with lift access to each floor prominent location within the primary retail area of St Annes on Sea.
“The property has been extensively converted internally to create showroom accommodation at basement, ground, first and second floor levels, with the third floor utilised for ancillary purposes.
“The showroom areas are fitted to a good standard throughout, with all areas air-conditioned and the property has two modern passenger lifts installed.”
Mr Taylor added that no deadline had been set for the attraction of inquiries.
“Hopefully the property can be let as soon as possible but the aim is to find the best tenants we can,” he said.
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