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House of Fraser and Zetland Car Park to be sold

Development and regeneration

Wednesday, 13 March 2024
House of Fraser

Middlesbrough’s House of Fraser building will soon have a new owner after the Council’s Executive approved its sale.

Mayor Chris Cooke and his Executive also voted to agree the sale of Zetland Car Park at a meeting on Wednesday.

The former department store and the car park close to the town’s railway station were both earmarked for sale following an asset review last year. The review identified there was no commercial benefit to the Council of continuing to own a number of buildings and pieces of land.

House of Fraser was bought by the Council in 2020 for £1m with the aim of retaining the retailer in the town, but the building has stood empty since 2022. It currently costs £100,000 per year to maintain and insure.

Two external valuations from industry experts confirmed its current market value.

Zetland Car Park will be sold with a requirement that it remains a car park for at least five years. The costs of operating it currently exceed the income generated from parking, although this is mitigated by income achieved via solar panels on its roof.

Two external valuations also confirmed the car park’s current market value.

Cllr Theo Furness, Executive member for Regeneration, said: “These sales will represent best value for Middlesbrough and remove ongoing costs for the Council.

“The sale of House of Fraser will bring new investment into a really important town centre site. We're also seeing really exciting progress in other assets owned by the Council, including Captain Cook Square, and it's absolutely right that we focus on those areas."

The Council will be protected financially should the new owner proceed to sell the assets for profit within a short timeframe.