The States of Jersey Development Company is set to buy the Waterfront Leisure Complex for around £15.6million.
The 150-year lease for the Waterfront site, which was built in 2003 and includes Cineworld, Aquasplash, Fitness First and various restaurants, was previously held by the Aviva pension fund.
It came on the market in July this year, with an asking price of around £15.6million.
With the St. Helier entertainment site fully let, the site takes a total rent of £1.2million per annum – the equivalent of £12.83 per square foot.
Pictured: The site was designed in the 1990s and constructed in 2003.
JDC submitted a bid for the 3.6-acre plot, which has now been accepted. They remained tight-lipped about the exact value of their offer, however, for commercial sensitivity reasons. Having secured funding by way of a bank loan, which is expected to be repaid through rents, the transaction is now set to be officially processed on 9 November.
JDC Managing Director Lee Henry told Express that the rationale behind taking on the long-term lease for the site was in order to revitalise an area he deemed dated and with the potential to become a “wasteland.”
Mr Henry added that the scheme resembled an out-of-town retail park and that the quality and appearance of the buildings were not “at the level of quality” of a modern Waterfront.
He said that current leases on the site’s attractions will first need to run their course, but after 2027 when the first “break” is expected, JDC will begin work on a “new look” and improvements to the area.
Pictured: Lee Henry, Managing Director of JDC.
This, he admitted, may involve a rethink of some of the business currently there. However, he acknowledged that the cinema, swimming pool and gym are all “extremely popular.”
Metres away from the site’s boundaries, JDC are currently working on the Horizon development – a 280-apartment complex next to Castle Quay featuring cafés and retail outlets that Mr Henry previously described to Express as a luxury Waterfront “village.”
Treasury Minister Susie Pinel endorsed the decision to take on the land.
Commenting on the proposed purchase, Treasury and Resources Minister, Deputy Susie Pinel, said: “This is a great opportunity to acquire a commercially self-sustaining site, and at the same time secure a prime site for future development.”
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