Edinburgh investment company secures Shapes Auction House in Sighthill

20th November 2017
Unique investment portfolio of six Glasgow and Paisley commercial properties to market
21st November 2017

Edinburgh investment company secures Shapes Auction House in Sighthill


Edinburgh-based property investment specialist SRA Ventures has secured a fresh acquisition deal for the well-known Shapes auction house in Sighthill which could now be transformed into a variety of commercial uses.

Owned by Scots entrepreneur Shaf Rasul, SRA purchased the sprawling 37,458 square foot industrial unit in the capital’s Bankhead Medway.

The property will be available from January and SRA expects it to command strong market interest, thanks to a variety of consents being in place which could allow conversion to a supermarket, restaurant, or return to full industrial usage.

The investment company believes that there remains a shortage of industrial stock of this scale in Edinburgh for large-scale users.

Shapes Auctioneers will vacate the property at the end of December when owner Ally Black is expected to retire after a 40 year career.

Established in 1974, the furniture business expanded from its original workshop in Edinburgh’s Old Town, before opening a successful antique auction department in 1993, and moving to Sighthill in 1998.

One of its auction highlights was Jack Vettriano’s ‘Dance Me to the End of Love’ which sold for £346,000 in 2006.

The purpose-built detached industrial unit of steel frame construction is currently used as a furniture shop, auction house, and restaurant with large storage areas.

Undertaking the valuation of the property, Ryden noted that the flexible accommodation could be sub-divided to cater for smaller business requirements or converted back into general industrial use, subject to planning consent.

Sighthill Industrial Estate is considered to be one of Edinburgh’s leading industrial and distribution locations thanks to great infrastructure and transport links.

The Shapes acquisition is just the latest in a series of similar deals for SRA this year.

The company kicked off 2017 by announcing a raft of deals totalling £2.2million, including the £1.6million purchase of another extensive 27,000 square foot warehouse in Sighthill Industrial Estate’s Bankhead Drive from storage specialists Len Lothian Limited, which was then sold to Kangaroo Self Storage.

In March, it purchased two further Sighthill warehouse properties in Bankhead Crossway South from Stirling-based Alexander (Scotland) & Co Ltd, and quickly agreed pre-let terms for both.

SRA owns and manages a diverse range of industrial, retail, commercial and mixed use asset properties across Scotland, focusing on under-performing commercial assets.

Mr Rasul said of the Shapes acquisition: “I’m delighted to have secured this excellent and flexible asset in the heart of industrial Edinburgh that could cater for various uses.

“The deal represent a significant investment and a further exciting addition to our commercial property portfolio. It’s a great opportunity to re-position and add value.

“I believe there are strong prospects for this property given the popularity of the location and shortage of supply, and am confident that it will provide opportunity to enhance returns in the short to medium term.”

The acquisition was advised on by Keith Watters and Graeme Millar of Graham + Sibbald.

Mr Millar said: “We continue to see a strong market for similar sites in Edinburgh where choice is often at a premium for particular types of user. Thanks to strong road and rail connections, Sighthill Industrial Estate’s exceptional location undoubtedly remains its greatest asset

“Shapes will be an excellent addition to SRA’s portfolio due to its quality and vast potential, and we expect that its sale will reflect Edinburgh’s strength as a logistics location and investment magnet.

“We were delighted to advise on, and facilitate, the conclusion of the deal, which is the xxth major acquisition by Graham + Sibbald on behalf of SRA Ventures across the past year.”

SRA was also advised by Iain Witheyman, Gregor Duthie, and Murray Stewart of Scots legal firm Gilson Gray.

Head of Real Estate, Murray Stewart said: “We are pleased to have secured another great opportunity for SRA. The property investment specialist was ideally positioned to snap up this substantial Sighthill property.

“The site will provide big businesses with the perfect premises from which to realise their ambitions.”

SRA has appointed Alan Herriot of Ryden and Keith Watters to market the building which will be available from 1st January 2018.

Mr Herriot said: “We believe that the acute shortage of modern accommodation was a key driver in this acquisition.

“The property’s strategic prime position with its diverse nature and flexible uses will no doubt prove to be attractive to trade counter/builders merchants and retail occupiers alike and we think that, post-refurbishment, it will undoubtedly attract rental offers north of £10 per square foot.”



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