HYDE’S Clarendon Square Shopping Centre is to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, just 14 months after its current owners bought it.
Irish firm Martin Property Group took the mall on from Dutch pension fund Stichting Mars Pensioenfonds (SMP).
Now after an examination of what can be done to improve what has become an increasingly empty area, it is going under the hammer at the end of October.
Gary Martin, of the Martin Group, said at the time of buying Clarendon Square: “We will be focused on stabilising, repositioning and where possible developing the assets further.
“We are delighted to complete this transaction and become the custodian, particularly at time where shopping centres require hands on asset management.”
A price of £2.5 million has been attached to the property, which will be sold in an online auction run by London-based Allsop on Tuesday, October 31.
And it states Clarendon Square brings in a total of £951,925 a year in rent from stores.
Documents reveal some of the 55 units cost more than £40,000 and £50,000 to rent annually and some are not scheduled to have their agreements reviewed until 2028.
As well as the stores, there are seven kiosks and even nine flats, which bring in a combined £62,940 over 12 months.
The emerging Hyde Masterplan, which includes the redevelopment of Clarendon Square, is highlighted in the positives attached to the sale.
As is Healthy Hyde – a new health hub which opened in the shopping centre on September 22.
The struggles Hyde currently faces were told in no uncertain terms as 99 per cent of people told a consultation ahead of the masterplan being drawn up it could be improved.
Of 1,339 respondents, only four said it should stay as it is. 90 per cent of people who responded to a survey felt improved food and beverage shops and stalls are needed.
However, it was pointed out bringing new life to Hyde town centre will take between 15 and 20 years.
The main changes proposed include creating new pedestrianised areas around the town hall and the building to be ‘re-purposed to be a vibrant cultural hub for Hyde and the wider borough.’
Its markets will be re-located to ‘new, high quality facilities in a prime location on Market Place,’ a re-imagined shopping area, with wide tree lined streets connecting all areas of the town centre and parking areas may be moved.
It is also hoped to create an improved public area, along with traffic calming to create safe, welcoming pedestrian routes from key public transport facilities.
A report stated, however: “The whole Hyde town centre redevelopment is a 15 to 20-year programme with short term, medium term and long-term goals that will holistically deal with the town centre and the surrounding area that feeds it.”
Wayne Hemingway, of HemingwayDesign, has been brought on board to help draw up the masterplan for Hyde.
And he believes a collective effort will result in the required change.
He said: “The response from the community has been extremely encouraging and positive and has shaped the draft plans.
“People know that change is needed (only four said it should stay the same), 85 per cent want more places to socialise, 94 per cent want more interesting shops and, 83 per cent want better places to eat and drink, 83 per cent more cultural events.
“So the messages are clear and it’s up to everyone involved from businesses to the council, to landlords and landowners and budding entrepreneurs and creative minds to try and bring about the positive change that people want and Hyde deserves.
“The draft vision and masterplan proposals for Hyde town centre have been shaped by 1,500 residents, workers and visitors of Hyde who shared valuable insight during the initial fact-finding period.
“We believe the proposals are a true representation of the engagement thus far and we look forward to receiving further feedback to inform the preparation of the final masterplan report.”
The Correspondent has contacted the Martin Group for comment about the sale of Clarendon Square.