Experts in Retail & Leisure Property


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Cardiff night scene continues to grow with retro gaming bar

A Bristol-based gaming bar is the latest establishment to take over a formerly redundant site in Cardiff, following a property acquisition in the city centre.

Kongs, which currently operates out of its King Street venue in Bristol, has acquired the former Greene King venue on St Mary Street, which has been empty since 2014.

The 10,000 sq ft unit benefits from entrances onto Guildhall Place and St Mary Street.

The new bar, Kongs Cardiff, will use its popular trading format and high quality, quirky shop fit, after proving successful in its current location.

The venue will include ping pong tables, arcade games from the 80s and 90s, including Donkey Kong, Street Fighter 2 and Pac Man, along with table foosball. Additionally, the operation will bring 15 new jobs into the area.

Max Pioli, Co-Founder of Tivoli Inns, owner of the Kongs brand, said: “Following our opening in Bristol, Cardiff was always going to be our next target location.  We thought long and hard about where best to locate, and are delighted with our decision to take our venue to The Castle Quarter. 

“The area is already attractive to many, with tourists, and local media, foodie and arts fans visiting the independent venues and craft breweries nearby. We are confident that this is the correct location for Kongs Cardiff.

“We are well underway with our re-fit of the unit, and as we hoped, we are finding fantastic old features. These will be kept and enhanced as part of the relaxed, inclusive environment we seek to create.”

Commercial property specialist EJ Hales acted for Kongs in acquiring the venue. 

Phil Morris, partner at EJ Hales, said: “As soon as we understood the nature of this requirement, we felt a unit within the Westgate and St Mary Street area would be ideal.  This section of Cardiff, which is now being promoted as The Castle Quarter, is proving a highly sought after location. It is a popular choice, particularly for operators with more alternative, independent brands. 

“Kongs will fit in well with other recent openings in the area, including Chai Street, Bar 44, Small Bar and Tiny Rebel.”

The precise commercial terms of the transaction remain confidential, but it is understood that Kongs has taken a sub-lease from Greene King, which has an historical interest in the building.

The Kongs deal follows a string of new openings facilitated by EJ Hales, including London-based cocktail bar Dirty Martini on St Mary Street, Small Bar, the independent brewer from Bristol, which has opened on Church Street, and Indian street food café Chai Street’s on High Street.


Co-operative and Greggs announce new stores in Porthcawl

The Co-operative and Greggs have announced new retail outlets in Porthcawl.

The Co-operative has agreed a 15 year lease for £80,000 for a 4,000 sq ft unit, while Greggs has agreed a ten year lease for £20,000 for a 973 sq ft store.

Both retailers will be based on the ground floor of a 30,000 sq ft development located on New Road, Porthcawl at the entrance to one of Europe’s biggest caravan parks – Trecco Bay.

The Co-operative opened Friday 4th December, creating 23 jobs, and Greggs has also started trading, creating eight new jobs.

40 residential units are also being developed on the upper floor and to the rear of the property for Wales and West Housing Association.

Leisure and retail property specialist EJ Hales acted on purchasing the site on behalf of South-Wales based Jehu Group and subsequently agreed terms with Greggs and The Co-operative.

Matthew Morgan, partner at EJ Hales, said: “It’s great to see these sites now having a new lease of life and creating employment opportunities for local people. Jehu Group chose the perfect location for the development as Trecco Bay has become a hugely popular site with both the local residents and tourists following its re-development.

“There is also limited competition in the area, which helped create a highly competitive bidding process amongst perspective tenants.  

“We were pleased to be appointed by Jehu Group to help secure the building and tenants. The Jehu Group is well-known for their experience and for delivering quality projects of this type which meant both the Co-operative and Greggs were keen to work with them.”

Simon Jehu of Jehu Group, said: “We’re delighted to have secured the Co-operative and Greggs for our new development.

“New Road is the perfect location for both stores and it is an exciting time for the town as it will be undergoing further development in the near future.

“We’re also delighted to provide Wales and West Housing Association with 40 residential units. The total value of the development was in the region of £5.5m representing significant investment and creating more than £15m of economic activity.

“We’d like to thank EJ Hales, who we have worked with us on several projects in the past, for their expertise and efforts in securing the positive long-term leases.

“We hope local residents will support the new outlets and we are sure the stores will have great success.”

EJ Hales has been at the forefront of the South Wales commercial property market for over 80 years. It has built an enviable reputation within the retail and leisure commercial property marketplace. In the last year the company has advised on a number of high profile deals spanning the breadth of the country for clients including Tesco, Specsavers, Argos, Next and Subway.

Jehu Group of Companies has a heritage of creating quality projects in the property industry spanning more than 80 years. Group clients include Tesco, Whitbread, Travelodge, ASDA, British Airways, McDonalds, Halfords, KFC and Royal Mail.


Dirty Martini to open in Cardiff

Leisure operator CG Restaurants & Bars has signed a 25-year lease to launch its first Dirty Martini bar at 71-72 St Mary Street in Cardiff. 
Dirty Martini has agreed a lease with landlord Legal & General for the former Maddison site, which will have capacity for 700 and will create 65 new jobs. 
A circa £1.2m refurbishment is currently underway at the 10,000 sq ft venue, which will feature a central bar, unique artwork and areas which can be hired for private events.
With eight bars in London, including Covent Garden and Hanover Square, Cardiff will be the late night cocktail bar’s first venue outside of London.
CG Restaurants & Bars has taken the brand from a 1,200 square foot basement in Covent Garden to a nine strong group with budgeted sales of £13.5M in 2016. Dirty Martini has developed a reputation for bespoke cocktails and stylish interiors with a loyal following that appreciates the brand’s spirited sophistication.  
Cardiff-based retail and leisure specialist EJ Hales leased the site to Dirty Martini having acted for the landlord Legal & General.
Welshman, Scott Matthews, chief executive officer of Dirty Martini, said: “When we decided to open in Cardiff, we wanted to ensure we were located in the heart of Cardiff’s nightlife. 
“The former Maddison site was an ideal location, providing us with plenty of scope to re-design the venue. 
“We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us reach this point. We are excited and can’t wait to open and hope that people in Cardiff and the surrounding areas really enjoy Dirty Martini.”
Will Edwards, fund manager at Legal & General, said: “We are delighted to have completed a letting to Dirty Martini at 71-72 St Mary Street, marking the completion of the first stage of our asset management strategy for the property. We now only have the basement space currently being marketed to let.”
Phil Morris, partner at EJ Hales, said: “After Legal & General appointed us as agents for 71-72 St Mary Street, we were aware Dirty Martini was looking to expand outside of London in Cardiff, and we instantly thought St Mary Street would be a great fit for the brand. 
“With new venues like the Philharmonic set to reopen soon, it’s undergoing a massive regeneration and is fast becoming the hub for Cardiff nightlife. 
“We’re delighted to have let the old Maddison site to Dirty Martini. We’ve seen the plans and designs for the new bar and we’re sure people will enjoy the stylish environment and quality, bespoke cocktails.”
CG Restaurants & Bars currently operates eight Dirty Martini sites in London across Bishopsgate, Clapham, Covent Garden, Hanover Square, Islington, Minories, Monument and St Paul’s.


New convenience store for Tenby

Retail and leisure property specialist EJ Hales has secured a letting of the former Royal Mail workshop, which has remained empty for over 10 years, with The Co-operative convenience store in Tenby.  
EJ Hales purchased the site, previously a Post Office vehicle repair workshop, for Waterstone, part of the Jehu Group of companies. Following a competitive marketing process, with strong interest from convenience operators, terms were agreed with the Co-op.
A 15-year lease has been confirmed on the 3,500 sq ft premises at a rent of £62,000 per annum. The store, which opened late July, saw the Co-op spending approximately £1m on the development, creating over 20 full and part-time jobs. 
EJ Hales has built an enviable reputation within the retail and leisure commercial property marketplace. In 2015, the company advised on a number of high profile deals spanning the breadth of the country for clients including Tesco, Specsavers, Argos, Next and Subway.
Matthew Morgan, partner at EJ Hales, said: “Having purchased the site on behalf of Waterstone, we are delighted that we have secured a long-term lease for the premises. 
“It has been great to see the Co-op giving the premises a new lease of life so that it provides a service for the Tenby residents and holiday makers once again.
“What is particularly pleasing is the fact that Waterstone has brought life back to a building which has laid empty for over 10 years in an extremely prominent and visible location. This is a great example of schemes local authorities should support as it significantly benefits the local community and economy.” 
John Hillman of the Co-op, said: “Opening a store in Tenby is part of our wider expansion plans. Our Tenby site is the ideal location for the shop with its proximity to local residents and passing traffic. We have also created a designated car park for the convenience of our customers. 
“We hope to have a long future in Tenby and continue to open more stores throughout the Wales and the UK.”
Simon Jehu of Waterstone, said: “We were delighted to secure Co-op for another of our developments. It’s great to see a building, which has stood vacant for a number of years reinvigorated with a new lease of life. Also, it’s another scheme where we have worked closely with our agent, EJ Hales, who secured the tenant for us. 
“With this and our ongoing luxury flat development 51-degree Latitude over-looking South Beach and recent redevelopment of the Former Cambrian Hotel in Saundersfoot, we have undertaken significant investment in this part of Pembrokeshire.”
EJ Hales has been at the forefront of the South Wales commercial property market for over 80 years. The practice specialises in retail and leisure property, both in town centre and out of centre locations and advises on some of the largest developments in South Wales. Clients include Tesco, Next, Argos, Subway, Specsavers, UBS, M & G Real Estate and Aberdeen Asset management & Mansford.

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