Irish family-owned business Martin Property Group is the new owner of Chester’s iconic Browns of Chester building - formerly home to Debenhams - in the latest of a string of strategic acquisitions in the city.
Martin Property Group acquired the 150,000 sq. ft building from Allsop, on behalf of British Land, for an undisclosed sum.
The building has been empty since Debenhams closed its doors in May 2021 and was once known affectionately as Harrods of the North. Grade I listed, the building incorporates part of the famous Chester Rows and contains many ornate features such as glass-domed roofs, elaborate plasterwork and the Crypt Chambers.
The building fronts onto Eastgate Street and adjoins the 211,845 sq. ft. Chester Grosvenor Shopping Centre, which Martin Property Group acquired along with the nearby Newgate Street multi-storey car park and Jurys Inn Hotel Leonardo, earlier this year.
Gary Martin, Director of Martin Property Group said: “We’ve made some sizeable investments in Chester over the last few months, and we’re delighted to add such a prominent and important asset to our portfolio.
“As well as having prime frontage onto Chester’s main shopping street, the building also adjoins the Grosvenor Shopping Centre. This latest acquisition gives us an opportunity to take a more strategic view of how we breathe positive new life into both of these assets. We know we have an important role as the new custodians of this much-loved building, and we will work closely with local stakeholders to develop our plans.”
- Martin Property Group acquired the freehold of Chester Grosvenor Shopping Centre, Newgate Street multi-storey car park and Jurys Inn Hotel Leonardo in August 2022 from Grosvenor Eaton Estate.
- Martin Property Group went on to acquire the long leasehold interest of these assets in November 2022 from H.I.I.G. Chester Property S.a.r.l.
- Earlier this year Martin Property Group also acquired a portfolio comprising more than 1.2m sq. ft of regional shopping centres and student accommodation from Real Estate Investments Nederland BV.
About Martin Property Group
Martin Property Group is a family-run, sophisticated real estate investment and development company, focused on the strategic development and repositioning of commercial, residential, retail and industrial assets across the UK and Ireland. The business has built a substantial UK wide real estate portfolio over a 40-year period and prides itself on completing complex projects whilst working with multiple stakeholders.
Pictured - Former Browns of Chester building.