It’s the news all property sellers are eager to receive and today Brighton & Hove City Council got the call they’d been expecting. Contracts have been exchanged with regards to the sale of the freehold of Kings House at a fixed sale figure of £26,125,000.
The purchaser - Mortar Nova Grand Avenue - is a joint venture development vehicle between local developer Rego Property and London based Pacific Investment.
The Grade II listed building located on Hove seafront was formerly occupied by the council, but was vacated in October 2016, when staff relocated to Hove Town Hall and Bartholomew House as part of an efficiency programme.
The sale will bolster council coffers and will go towards funding vital services for residents. Significant savings will also be made by not having to maintain the building as council offices.
The sale comes after an extensive marketing campaign undertaken by agents Cushman & Wakefield which generated interest from over 500 parties and nearly 40 offers when bids were called in May 2017.
There was no interest in using the building as office space, but strong demand from residential developers seeing the potential of the landmark building to deliver a high quality housing development.
Speaking about the sale Leader of Brighton & Hove City Council, Cllr Warren Morgan said he was pleased that the building would be brought back into beneficial use, with Mortar Nova Grand Avenue aiming to bring forward a planning application for residential conversion in the next 12 months.
“This is more good news for the council’s finances, and demonstrates that we were right to make the decision regarding the previous sale agreement that we inherited. We have achieved a larger receipt, earlier than previously anticipated. Selling Kings House will save us £2m a year in operating costs, with money already invested in better customer services for residents both online and in Hove Town Hall.”
Piers Beckwith, Director of Pacific Investments said:
“This is an iconic building along the seafront which offers an unparalleled opportunity to invest in Brighton & Hove, one of the most attractive locations on the south coast to live and work.”
Ronan Mellett, Director of Rego Property said:
“We’re delighted to have been able to acquire this property and look forward to undertaking its refurbishment and redevelopment into a leading residential location.”