A Birmingham high street is thriving after attracting a range of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants following a major investment in a programme of improvement.
Centrick Commercial, part of Midlands-based property specialist Centrick, has helped a once dilapidated area of Bearwood to bounce back, with 12 retail units let to occupiers including the Craft Inn, Tamu Café and Bear Bookshop.
The team was instructed by a private investor following the 2018 acquisition out of administration of a portfolio of 14 ground floor retail units, with residential upper floors, on Bearwood High Street. Most of the units were vacant and the residential accommodation in a poor state.
George Xydias, Centrick Commercial Agency Director, said all the retail units were refurbished and Centrick Commercial was involved in letting 12 of them, jointly with Creative Retail and Robertson Brown, mostly to interesting independent operators. Following the lettings, eight of the units have been sold by Centrick Commercial to investors.
George added: “This was a distressed asset and we have worked closely with our client and really turned it around for them.
“We have let 12 of the retail units and sold eight with two more under offer. They are all great quality independent operators with most of them living and working in Bearwood. It’s great to see that we’ve been able to attract an interesting, bohemian mix.
“Our client has also retained the upper floors, converting them to professional grade HMOs, which Centrick is also managing, seeing great success having let 100% of the available units with the remaining properties undergoing refurbishment and we’re confident these will be snapped up in quick succession.”
Alex Tross, Centrick Commercial Director added: “Bearwood has always been a thriving shopping area and post pandemic, we believe it is only going to continue to increase in popularity. This part of the high street previously was rather unloved, with vacant and boarded up units.
“As we stand now with nearly 100% occupancy, the regeneration of the area is rapidly underway and has improved the overall feeling of the high street. The planned extension to the tram system into Bearwood is attracting large numbers of investors and home buyers, as it will improve accessibility and help commuters travelling to Birmingham city centre.
“People have a perception that retail is struggling but we’re finding the opposite to be true. Last year was the busiest the team have had in terms of lettings and sales of secondary retail properties. People are using local facilities and shopping more and more post-pandemic, deciding to spend their money in their local areas with local businesses, as opposed to large corporates in town centres.”
Centrick Commercial has enjoyed several recent successes with new instructions by Hortons’ Estate across Birmingham; including the newly refurbished 21 Bennetts Hill, the much-lauded Southside building by Paloma Capital and the former RBS building at 81 Colmore Row by Floreat.