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Residential development helping investor to maximise return on investment

Decades of combined property expertise across the Garness Group of businesses is helping an investor maximise returns from a multi-million pound property portfolio.

Commercial property market specialists at Garness Jones used their investment knowledge to advise and represent the buyer through the purchase of the East Yorkshire portfolio in 2021, before being appointed to market and manage the properties moving forward.

The properties, based in Hull, Beverley, Hessle, Cottingham and Anlaby, included a number of small shopping centres and parades, retail and hospitality premises in busy locations, a trade counter and an industrial unit.

Paul White, director of Garness Jones, said: “This was a significant property investment for which we advised the buyer throughout the purchase of the portfolio. We were then instructed to market and manage the properties, which at the time had various issues which needed overcoming to ensure it met its potential.

“Our Commercial Property Management team made it a priority to firstly improve conditions for existing tenants in the retail arcades, renegotiating lease agreements where required and agreeing new service charge budgets to ensure the arcades can be managed and maintained to a high-standard moving forward.

“We then turned our focus to reconfiguring and renovating some of the empty units in the arcades, taking advantage of the flexibility Class E property classifications allow over change the use.  

“At the Orchard Centre in Hull we advised that the first floor offices, which had one sitting tenant with two offices vacant, be refurbished and reconfigured to create three offices, with improved communal areas. Taking steps like this ensured each arcade had a good mix of retail and office businesses as tenants.

 “At the same time we agreed a longer term plan with our client to invest into the properties by converting some of the empty upper floors into apartments, given they are all in highly-desirable residential locations.”

Apartments commanding £725 a month

Improvement works, overseen by the Garness Jones team, were carried out in the Orchard Centre in Hessle, Red Lion Court, in Anlaby, St Mary’s Court in Beverley and Kings Parade in Cottingham, where the investor was advised to convert the upper floor into eight modern, high quality apartments, which are now on the market.

The block of eight apartments were fully redecorated and refurbished with modern new kitchens and bathrooms in all apartments, making them ready to move into.

Marketed by the team here at Gro Residential Management, part of the Garness Group of businesses, the apartments now command between £650 a month for one-bedroom studios and apartments and £725 a month for two-bedroom apartments for the owner.

Mr White added: “This has been a great example of how the businesses within the Garness Group bring their decades of experience in the property market together to the benefit of both investors and their tenants.

“This was a portfolio of properties which had huge potential but needed a clear strategic vision to ensure tenants were best supported in making their businesses a success, but also to maximise returns for the owner by ensuring a long-term strategy was established.

“When the portfolio was purchased there was only a 66% occupancy rate of business tenants, now we are at 100%.

“Through proactive management, and the support of our specialist businesses, this portfolio is now well placed to ensure an excellent long-term return on investment for the investor.”

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