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Belgrade Plaza Sold To Clearbell Property

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Belgrade Plaza

Clearbell Property have completed the acquisition of the 130,000 sq ft Belgrade Plaza development, their second major investment in Coventry in less than a year.

In a recent interview with Property Week, Clearbell Capital partner Rob West revealed that they had a second mixed-use scheme in the city under offer, having recently completed the acquisition of Earlsdon Park.

We can now reveal that this second site is phase two of Belgrade Plaza; comprising of a 119 room Premier Inn hotel, a JD Gym, 64 open-market apartments and three popular chain restaurants; Cafe Rouge, Bella Italia and Pizza Express. It is not believed that the purchase includes phase three of the scheme, a 21 storey student residential scheme currently under construction.

The purchase of Belgrade Plaza is expected to be the final acquisition made by the fund, which has attracted contributions from 40 investors from across the globe and has targeted office, industrial, retail and leisure assets in the UK.

Speaking to Property Week, Manish Chande, senior partner at Clearbell said: “This is expected to be the final investment on behalf of Clearbell and is consistent with our strategy to identify under-managed opportunities in growth sectors and locations from motivated sellers. The swift deployment of capital reflects our track record and specialism in this area.”

It is not clear what the short term implications for Belgrade Plaza might be, but with several large units still vacant, it is hoped that the change of ownership will prove to be a shot in the arm for a development that has struggled to attract tenants.

The acquisition of Earlsdon Park by Clearbell has seen an immediate turnaround in its fortunes. Having speculatively refurbished 27,000 sq ft of office space, Clearbell have secured a pre-let of 23,000 sq ft to Sitel on a 10-year lease.

When asked by Property Week about Clearbell’s decision to invest in Coventry, Rob West commented:

“It was partly location and partly opportunity. Coventry is the UK’s 11th-largest city and it’s growing fast – the universities of Warwick and Coventry have been hugely successful and major companies such as Jaguar Land Rover continue to expand and go from strength to strength. Coventry also has excellent road and rail links to London and other key cities.

“Meanwhile, the city centre has suffered a chronic lack of investment since the damage inflicted by the Luftwaffe and 1960s town planners. As a result, there is growing demand and a shortage of decent office space, so we see potential for strong rental performance. In addition, we see opportunities in alternative uses such as residential and leisure in Coventry.”

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