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Jones Lang LaSalle market reviews highlight emerging sectors and trends
Tuesday 19 February 2013 - John Mulholland, director, Jones Lang LaSalle Bath office, talks about the 'Bath Bubble'
The last few weeks have seen yet more big name retailers falling foul of the challenging economic climate that continues to beset High Streets all across the country.
Despite these testing times however, the City of Bath continues to ‘punch above its weight’ as discovered in a series of property reviews held by Jones Lang LaSalle across the South West.
The market reviews have highlighted a number of emerging sectors and trends encouraging a level of cautious optimism in the wider property industry. One of the most prominent themes is the idea of the ‘Bath Bubble.’
Once again, the city’s skyline is dotted with tower cranes looming over the city with three hotel developments either on site or about to start. Premier Inn is under construction on James Street West and YTL are making good progress on the conversion of the former Gainsborough Building scheduled to complete next year. It is also anticipated that Kingsmead House will be demolished to make way for a 177 bed hotel at this gateway entrance to the city.
Out of the turmoil on the High Street there have been a number of examples where the departure of one retailer has opened the door for a new shop front to arrive in Bath. The former JJB will shortly reopen as TKMaxx, Shoon have departed to make way for Jack Wills, the former Jane Norman now trades as Molton Brown and in Cheap Street the Early Learning Centre has recently re-opened as Bills Delicatessen.
Undoubtedly Southgate has had a major impact, not only in terms of the retail offer but also the general improvements that have pulled the business district of Bath in a southerly direction, with a number of office occupiers choosing to either expand or relocate in close proximity. These include Novia Financial Services and Altran Praxis, both of whom have a significant presence immediately adjacent to Southgate. The improvements to the railway station have also given this area of the city a genuine sense of arrival further enhancing the wider city appeal.
Bath has always been something of aresidential hot spot and development in this sector continues at pace with the first phase of Western Riverside nearing completion and new apartments finished at Southgate and sold to investors worldwide. Smaller developments across the city - including 33 apartments at Ladymead - further reinforce the strength of the city as a place to live.
The increased confidence in the housing market is further reflected in the extensive interest that has been generated through the marketing of the MOD sites at Warminster Road, Ensleigh and Foxhill where it is reported that bidding has been quite exceptional and has by far exceeded original expectations.
No report on Bath would be complete without reference to the education sector with two major universities, City of Bath College and a host of top flight schools. University of Bath was recently voted in the top 3 by the Sunday Times and anticipated expenditure in the further education sector for this year is in the order of £60million, which can only further feed into the success of the Bath economy.
Bath continues to be seen as a genuine national and international destination and the quality of life argument remains as strong as ever.
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