New supermarket, coffee shop or pizza place for Driffield?

Driffield could have a new high street retailer as early as this summer.

Commercial property investors The Harkalm Group is ready to put pen to paper on the purchase of the former Barclays bank.

The bank vacated 61 Market Place on 26th January which has since stood empty.

Business property adviser Christie & Co has had the freehold on the market at £415,000 and the Wolds Weekly can confirm that The Harkalm Group has made a cash offer just under the asking price.

What sealed the deal for the London-based firm was its sole interest purchasing and then leasing 61 Market Place to a commercial tenant.

Sam Ashton, senior business agent – hospitality for Christie & Co, told the Wolds Weekly that he expects the final exchanges for the ownership to be made in June.

“All of the commission in the property was stripped out once Barclays vacated in January,” Sam explained.

“There was a lot of interest in 61 Market Place, with the majority interested in renovating the first and second floors into apartments.

“However, such bids would be subject to planning applications, something which the current owner did not want to have to deal with.

“The Harkalm Group has no interest in residential properties, purely retail and commercial.

“That went in its favour, plus the fact that it is paying cash, just slightly under the asking price.

“I believe that The Harkalm Group will first look to secure a long-term tenant to occupy the ground floor space, before exploring options higher up.

“Barclays only operated on the ground floor of the building, so there is a bit of work to be done on the first and second floors.

“The lease with Barclays ends in June and I would expect the exchange of ownership to take place just before then, with a tenant hopefully moving in shortly afterwards.

“The sale is simply going through due diligence at the moment.”

The Harkalm Group professes to specialise in the retail, leisure and alternative use sectors.

It acquires, asset manages and invests across the UK’s high streets and roadside locations.

Its portfolio includes Sainsbury’s Local, Costa, Caffe Nero, Pizza Hut, Papa John’s and Coral.

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