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Eyesore buildings bought by mystery investor
HOPES are high that a row of eyesore buildings will be revitalised after they were bought by a mystery investor.
Sainsbury’s has now secured a deal with a buyer for the three fire-damaged properties it owns in St John’s, Worcester.
It is not yet known who has bought the former Zig Zag club, Smokestack pub and Cordles grocers or what their plans are for the buildings which have stood empty for more than a decade and been a target for arsonists.
They were acquired by the supermarket chain as part of the development of its new store in Swanpool Walk, which opened in September 2009. But Sainsbury’s decided not to overhaul the site itself and has, until now, struggled to find a buyer.
The buildings’ condition was raised the issue at the November meeting of Worcester City Council, at which St John’s councillor Richard Udall made calls for the authority to start enforcement proceedings. He has frequently written to Sainsbury’s chief executive Justin King, calling on him to tend to the “eyesore”.
Revealing the news of the sale, Coun Udall said: “We don’t yet know who has bought the site, but it is hoped they will develop it and remove the scar from the St John’s street scene that has tarnished the area for too long.
“Sainsbury’s have neglected these buildings and it is good that they have finally sold them to a purchaser who might find a good use for them. Frankly, anything would be better than what we currently have, but the city council will have to carefully negotiate with any new owner to ensure any development is in keeping and sympathetic to the needs of the local area.”
A spokesman for Sainsbury’s confirmed contracts had been exchanged and the sale was due to be completed at the end of the month. She would not reveal the identity of the buyer.