Griffin Island, Newport

The Griffin Island Estate comprising 26 buildings with 30 separate retail units was acquired in May 2002. At purchase, 28 of the retail leases had expired and were either holding over or faced an imminent expiry and a number of the upper parts were derelict or dilapidated. The Estate has frontages onto 4 separate streets, including the High Street. Intensive effort enabled us to renew, re-gear, or surrender and re-let all of the 28 units within eighteen months.

The asset management strategy included tenant mix considerations and improvement of the covenant blend to enhance investment value. One retail unit that fronted onto the High Street was structurally reconfigured to provide a separate, self-contained access to the upper levels to permit division and change of use to residential accommodation.

Residential planning consent for the upper parts was sought and obtained in 3 separate phases to ameliorate social housing requirements. These three separate phases were sold to a private residential developer for conversion to provide city centre living in Newport – a new and untested concept for the town.

The estate was sold in October 2007. The combined realisation (including units which had been sold individually, together with the residential upper floors) achieved a 100% increase in value from the original purchase and associated costs.