An entire street in Clonmel was sold at a distressed property auction on Tuesday for €920,000 in a deal that has attracted global interest.
Eighteen buildings in Market Place, nine of which are vacant, were sold at the auction by a telephone bidder generating hopes that the new owner will invest in the area, secure new tenants for unoccupied units and create jobs in the town.
“It’s great news for the town and for the existing unit holders. It had stagnated for two years, nobody knew what was happening. Now hopefully this will bring new investment into the area,” said Ger Ambrose, whose silver jewellers unit opened in Market Place twelve years ago.
Since the Market Place package went on sale inquiries have been made about the site from all over the world.
“Over a week ago an American investor, who has developed shopping centres in the Ukraine, came in here and was very interested in it. I’m not sure if he is the person that bought it,” said Ger Ambrose.
Brian Cleary, Chief Executive Officer of Clonmel Chamber, said he had received a lot of overseas calls in the build up to the Allsop auction which took place on Tuesday in the Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin.
Ger Ambrose said that the site was excellent with the pedestrian area used as a link between the Mary Street car park and the car park opposite the cinema.
“It is a very viable site, not all of the vacant units actually closed down, some involved retirements and other matters which unfortunately led to a lot of vacancies.T he shopkeepers here were always very positive about the area and now this is a great boost for everybody,” she said.
Brian Cleary said the sale of the street was a great boost for the town.
“Whoever bought it, we have to hope they intend to use it and do something positive with it. It will add life to the town and hopefully it will bring something new and different to the town to add to the mix we already have”
The Chamber CEO said he had received calls from all over the world over the last few weeks about the Market Place sale .
“There was a huge amount of interest in it. It has multiple owners who came together as a consortium for the purpose of a sale and it was brought together as one lot.T here was intense speculation about it. It’s sale thatcan only be good for the town,” he said.
Mr Cleary said he had spoken to unit holders in Market Place since the sale and they all welcomed the news.
“It was bought by a telephone bidder so obviously they want their anonymity. Some of the lots in the auction held on Tuesday were not sold and this one was sold for in excess of the reserve. Somebody sees the merit in buying the units and hopefully it will kick start some regeneration of the area. There has been a lot of publicity about the sale and that has to be positive for the area as well,” said the Chamber leader.
The Market Place units for sale bring in an annual current rental income of more than €230,000 and had a reserve of €900,000.
The lot comprised of 18 retail units, arranged in six separate blocks. Nine of the units are occupied by Specsavers, Extreme Nutrition, Better By Nature, O’Tuama’s Café, Ger Ambrose, Catherine Nail Collection, Mulligans Pharmacy, Staunton Sports and Xtra-Vision. The other nine units sold are vacant.