Takeaway Chain Eyes Up Penicuik
Long time vacant unit in final stages of deal
A prime unit in Penicuik’s Shopping Centre looks set to find a new tenant after years of vacancy.
It emerged today, that the year long owners of the shopping centre, Evolve Estates, are in the final stages of negotiations with a national chain to secure the lease at 9 Kentigern Mall. The unit, which was most recently a Chinese takeaway, is best known as being the former RS McColl’s newsagents, opposite B&M Bargains.
It is understood that works are undergoing to ready the 1,587 sq.ft space for the new tenant, who has not yet been named. Contractors have removed all fixtures from the previous business venture and the unit taken back to its shell, in a move to entice the chain into formally agreeing terms.
Whilst it is hoped that the takeaway company will quickly reach an agreement with the centre’s owners, there is still a possibility that the deal may not progress. However, asset management company LCP Properties, who are acting on behalf of Evolve, are remaining optimistic that after years of neglect, the space will once again be driving footfall in the town centre.
Evolve Estates purchased Penicuik Shopping Centre for circa £5M in February 2016 and have been actively managing it since, to attract new retailers and improve the offering to shoppers. No new retailers have opened in the town since the purchase, though developers say interest is high and that there are ongoing discussions to fill the empty units and possibly even create new developments within the centre.
Should this sought after national takeaway chain proceed with opening as forecast, it will be the first new national company to open in Penicuik since Store Twenty One in 2015. The fashion retailer closed last year, in light of the company’s growing financial difficulties, leaving the town centre’s largest unit vacant. At £55,000 pa, and increasing business rates, there is little hope that 40 John Street will secure a long term tenant any time soon. In the meantime, a charity shop is operating from the space to raise funds for St Margaret of Scotland Hospice.
It is also understood that Jean’s Cafe will close at the end of their lease in May.
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