Oct 13, 2021
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ALB buys Nottingham properties, aims for Carnaby Street-style development

Oct 13, 2021

A property firm is aiming to create “the Carnaby Street of Nottingham” after buying empty retail units in what was once a thriving part of the city centre.

Fred Perry has a store on the street - Fred Perry/BuckleyGrayYeoman

ALB Group has snapped up 11 units so far in Bridlesmith Gate and another three in Lister Gate nearby. One of the units used to be a Shoe Zone store but that retailer has been closing underperforming stores in recent periods.

The Business Desk reported that Arran Bailey, MD of ALB has bought properties that are currently home to firms including upscale fashion store 18Montrose and Fred Perry.

He declared that he wants to make the units more affordable with an end to high rents and long leases and is targeting new tenants from the independent sector for both retail and cafes/coffee shops. 

His model is London’s Carnaby Street. The shopping street and surrounding neighbourhood is controlled by property giant Shaftesbury, which has attracted a large number of tenants with stores that can’t be found elsewhere. They include fashion and beauty stores as well as a strong sports presence and also a growing music-linked profile.

Ben Tebbutt, director of Box Property Consultants (BPC), which is working with ALB on the project, told The Business Desk: “Arran’s approach is hugely refreshing. He is brave, but he also has real vision – and he has an immense passion for our city. It’s true that there are a lot of empty units in this area of Nottingham, but on the back of these empty units comes opportunity. 

“As a collective we could create something special on Bridlesmith Gate to help bring the street back to its former glory. This is a great opportunity for new, independent operators to acquire premises with affordable rents.”

The report quoted BPC saying Sneakrverse, which occupies one of the units on flexible terms, is an example of “how new retail talent can shine in a once out-of-reach location. It’s these type of new and on trend operators that customers want to see and spent their money with”.

It also said it wants to “make this area cool again – bring a vibrancy back that Nottingham was once known for. We want to see this part of Nottingham get a buzz like we’ve seen in areas like Hockley”.

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