When I formed Intali 21 years ago, I wanted to focus on urban regeneration. Bringing dilapidated and unwanted buildings back into productive use and at the same time regenerating unloved urban areas.
Of course, Intali was only an agent doing the deals but we were fortunate to have a few brave and visionary clients who were prepared to put their money where our mouth was.
We did many deals facilitating many developments, not just in Leicester in but in a few other towns and cities where opportunities were presented.
What started all this was the purchase of a beaten-up row of shops in the late 1990’s. The Exchange Buildings on Rutland Street in Leicester’s “Cultural Quarter” was a Grade II listed mess. There was one stubborn newsagent but the only other occupiers were either squatting or ignoring court orders.
I wish I still had the photos but to give you an idea in car terms, I thought the picture above might help.
Buying this building was not our idea – it was driven entirely by our client. I couldn’t believe that anyone would pay anything for this – especially with the liability of the listing. But Park Portfolio did and then proceeded to convert the upper floors into trendy apartments and the ground floor into trendy bars.
And suddenly, the price paid looked ridiculously cheap – especially as other developers cottoned on the opportunity and the City Council commissioned the amazing Curve Theatre.
Exchange Buildings was not a big development but it was the catalyst for the start of regeneration in St George’s. The area is by no means finished but certainly Rutland Street is a far nicer place to be than it has been for many years. It’s just a shame that the hospitality industry is struggling so much at the moment.
So we were delighted to be instructed to sell the ground floor commercial investment producing just under £85,000 per annum.
And what does it look like now? Have a look