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Investment company acquires key city centre properties

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Local investment company Kartay Holdings has recently acquired six key properties across Oxford Street in Swansea between H Samuel Jewellers and Barclays Bank, with a view to revitalising a main shopping artery of the city centre.

Kartay has pledged further investment in the buildings to breathe life into a major thoroughfare of Swansea city centre.

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At present, three of the six acquired retails units sit vacant, however ongoing talks between Kartay and a number of new retailers and eateries are moving at pace in a bid to provide a major boost to Swansea city centre’s retail and hospitality offering.

Redevelopment of the buildings will also see the creation of approximately 27 new affordable apartments on the upper floors, providing much-needed homes in a key city centre location. As a by-product, the development will also provide new employment opportunities and significant footfall to the city centre.

This investment complements Swansea Council’s plans for the new central library, community hub and archives development which is taking shape at the city’s former BHS Store on the corner of Oxford Street. It also ties in with Kartay’s wider plans to provide private sector support for the regeneration of Swansea City Centre.

Ian Morgan, Managing Director of Kartay Holdings, said that Kartay had been very impressed in the lead that Swansea Council had taken with the Copr Bay redevelopment and other major redevelopment plans currently on-going throughout the city, and he is encouraged by the support that the Welsh Government had provided for the City Deal.

Mr Morgan said: “We’ve purchased this block as a long-term investment, with the intention to revitalise a key retail area of the city.

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“Having witnessed the challenging times that the city has endured following the demise of the high street as a result of the pressures on retail outlets, we believe it is vital that we now do our utmost to encourage people to live, work and socialise in the city centre in order to revitalise the retail and hospitality sectors.  

“We’re now exploring more investments of this kind, with a continued focus on the Swansea city centre and Swansea Bay area.

“Our interest and investment wouldn’t be possible however without the impressive on-going regeneration of Swansea being led by Swansea Council. We want to show support for the public sector initiatives by taking a proactive and supporting role in the revitalisation of the city.

“This collaborative approach between the public and private sector will ensure the city centre not only survives, but thrives and flourishes.”

This latest acquisition for Kartay follows the company’s purchase of Princess House, a 10-storey tower block in the city, which has subsequently increased from 60% to 100% capacity following acquisition, filling the 47,000sq ft with 17 local companies. Kartay has future plans to redevelop the building’s aesthetic to create a seamless flow of architecture along Princess Way.

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Adjacent to Princess House, Kartay has also acquired the former Smith-Llewellyn building and are in the process of redeveloping the property into a multi-purpose development providing 15,000sq ft of A Grade office space that meets the needs of 21st Century SMEs in a city economy. The ground floor retail units will also look to attract high-end food and beverage outlets.

In addition, Kartay also owns 1 Oxford Street (Mcdonald’s, Castle Square), a 5-storey commercial building currently hosting retail on the ground floor. Pending planning, Kartay has future plans to develop the upper floors into high-quality residential apartments overlooking the soon to be regenerated Castle Square that’s set to feature pavilion buildings for food and drink outlets, outdoor seating and a new water feature.

(Lead image: Swansea Council)

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