Wolverhampton's iconic Beatties sold in £3 million deal
Wolverhampton's iconic Beatties store is under new ownership today after being sold for £3 million.
A deal to sell the historic retailer to a private investor has now been completed, heralding a new era for the site.
It brings to an end months of uncertainty after Beatties was put up for sale last summer for a knock-down price.
It had previously been owned by a Danish consortium before it was taken into receivership.
The low valuation attracted a number of bidders but a deal has now been closed with the private investor, thought to be based in southern England.
The identity of the investor has not been revealed but talks have been held with council officials about plans for the Victorian building.
It is believed the site is likely to comprise a mix of flats and retail. Property agents Allsop said the buyer was "expected to reshape the use of the building across multiple sectors".
The authority has been monitoring events and is keen to ensure the site is not left empty for a prolonged period.
It marks a new era for the historic building after more than 140 years as a retail giant in the city.
House of Fraser is due to move out of the building later this year to switch to the Mander Centre.
Jonathan Butcher, from property agents Allsop, said: “The sale of the building presented a unique opportunity to acquire a significant city centre site steeped in history.
"It was no wonder that the property was in such high demand throughout the sale process resulting in numerous proposals from investors and developers alike.
"This transaction demonstrates that there is strong demand from entrepreneurial investors who are looking to positively re-shape town and city centres.”
The famous Beatties name has been synonymous with Wolverhampton since the shop was launched by James Beattie in 1877.
It was taken over by House of Fraser in 2005 but the Beatties name remained on the building and many shoppers continued to refer to it under its historic name.
The sale of Beatties has not been without complications.
The University of Wolverhampton was in the box seat to secure a deal, only for it to fall through at the eleventh hour.