Published: 09:55, 04 October 2019
| Updated: 09:57, 04 October 2019
The centre of Herne Bay is expected to “totally change” after seven prominent plots were put on the market for almost £4.5m.
The former Scruffy Ducks pub site in William Street is up for sale, along with Briggsys and a former kitchenware store in the High Street, and D&J Tyres in King’s Road.
In addition, National House, which sits opposite the former bus depot, and two vacant shops in Mortimer Street and High Street have been sold “subject to contract”.
The three of them were on the market for a total of £930,000.
It was hoped the city council’s decision to give the go-ahead to plans to convert Scruffy Ducks into 20 flats and shops had ended 14 years of speculation surrounding its long-term future.
But landowner Mike Thompson says a deal with developer Bhajan Singh fell apart in September.
The plot, which is now Market Street car park, is being advertised by a couple of estate agents for £1.4m.
Mr Thompson says he was approached by two prospective buyers three days after it was put up for sale last month - and is near a deal with one.
“It’s a perfect spot, particularly for a supermarket or a large retail unit,” he says.
“Whatever happens, it’d totally change the face of the town. Herne Bay needs it.”
The rest of the sites are being marketed by estate agents Wilbee & Son.
Briggsys, valued at £895,000, includes the indoor market, flats above and the former newspaper printers to its rear in Mortimer Street.
Peter Goodwin, the manager of Wilbee & Son, says the space is likely to be bought by a businessman wanting to open an emporium.
“The premises are vast - it’s a bit of a one-off,” he added. “The building in the High Street goes way back; it was a cinema and then a clothing factory.
“It’s been on the market for about a year. We haven’t had a lot of interest because it’s an unusual building and it needs somebody in that sort of trade.”
Fresh proposals to turn National House, advertised for offers in excess of £500,000, in the High Street into six two-bedroom flats were turned down by council officers in July.
Care home firm Dyzack Ltd, which owns the building, said in planning documents the property has been used as a “hub for drug dealers” in recent years.
The former Hub of the House Kitchens store is being marketed for £350,000.
It also includes a basement flat and a three-bedroom maisonette above, which is currently being rented out for £765 a month.
Having been given planning permission to be transformed into a four-storey block of flats earlier this year, D&J Tyres is listed for a fee of £750,000.
“A lot of these places are coming on the market now because landlords are cashing in and retiring,” Mr Goodwin added.
“Most of the freehold shops around here actually belong to people from out of the town now.
“There’s still interest in setting up businesses here – there are lots of people looking to have a go at things.”
Mr Singh was unavailable for comment.