Remember the story from late December about the sale of property in Ballyhackamore, currently leased to seven shops?
The current tenants had offered the £1.4 million asking price. But it looked likely that the buildings would be snapped up by property developers with deeper pockets who could offer a significantly higher sum to secure the property to build apartments. This would have left the shopkeepers a maximum of one or two years left on their commercial leases.
After a protest on the Upper Newtownards Road and some media attention a spokesman for Lord Eames (whose family own the buildings and have put them up for sale) said that the property would be taken off the open market.
Discussions between the family and the current tenants were to take place in January. But it’s all gone quiet.
Talking to one of the affected shopkeeper last weekend, it seems that the talks haven’t happened yet. He still feared that the most likely outcome is that a property developer will get hold of the property, and that their leases will only be renewed for as long as it takes the new owner to get planning permission.