Newcastle City Council to sell 10 business freeholds

Wed, 01 Jul 2015 | COMMERCIAL PROPERTY

Newcastle City Council is set to sell off 10 of the freeholds in a London auction that is predicted to fetch over £2 million.

The star offer is the freehold for the city's O2 Academy music venue, which is up for auction with a guide price of £625,000.

A sale would see the buyer take on a freehold ground rent investment with a total of six years remaining on a 99-year lease. This produces an annual ground rent income of £2,500, although there is potentially room to renegotiate this after the current lease has expired.

Other freeholds up for sale include the Pendower Hall, the Golden Fry takeaway in Heaton and Coquet House job centre in Byker.

A spokesman for the council explained that the sales are being used to generate cash for investment.

“We believe that selling off unused assets – which can incur maintenance costs – and putting the proceeds into new investment will boost the city's economy and help it emerge strongly from recession,” the spokesman told The Journal.

While there are a range of freehold buildings up for sale, it's the O2 Academy that is catching the most attention. The building was built in 1927 as a cinema but later operated as a bingo hall until it was refitted as a music venue with a main auditorium for 2,000 people and a smaller one for 400 individuals, as well as offices and bars.


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