Basildon town centre shopping parade on the market for £7.4million

Basildon Recorder: East Walk East Walk

ONE of the biggest shopping parades in Basildon town centre has been put up for sale – and the council put in a “predatory” bid to buy it.

Freedom House, which encompasses the 30 shops in East Walk opposite Brooke House, is valued at about £7.4million after its owners went into administration.

The Echo has learned the council put in a bid of between £6million and £7million with the owners, which was rejected.

It did look like the authority had a deal, but a council source told the Echo the owners changed their marketing tactics and it fell through.

The owners decided Freedom House should be sold as part of a package with other properties it owns in other town centres across the country.

The council pulled out and the agents for the owners, appointed by the administrators Jones Lang LeSalle, confirmed the parade was still on the market on Friday.

The authority would have borrowed the millions to pay for the investment, but calculated it would have ultimately made a six-figure profit.

This could have been invested in the town, to improve the shop frontages on East Walk, which is mainly composed of charity shops and independent stores, and the parade’s decor.

The source pointed out local authorities tend to get lower interest rates on borrowing than commercial enterprises.

Phil Turner, the Tory council’s deputy leader, said: “I think this shows the administration sees itself as a vibrant council that is looking to do positive things to improve the lives of its residents in Basildon. I think it shows our ambition in looking for opportunities to take advantage of for the benefit of our residents.

“It is almost like a predatory approach from the council when an opportunity for an asset comes along and we would plough the benefits of any asset back into the community.”

Comments (7)

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9:02am Tue 3 Dec 13

Vange Resident says...

You cant fix the road outside my house or maintain the grass because of no funds but you have 6-7million to buy a shopping parade!!!!!
You cant fix the road outside my house or maintain the grass because of no funds but you have 6-7million to buy a shopping parade!!!!! Vange Resident

9:20am Tue 3 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

Too many retail units in the Town Centre for a modern day shopping centre. We don't need multiple pound shops and pawnshops. How many barbers and tattoo parlours do we need. Sell it off and build a few hundred or thousand housing units there and ease the pressure on green spaces while taking numbers off the target figure the council have for new housing in the town development plan.


Consolidate the retail area towards the west end of the Town Centre where the new market is to be but and get rid of some of the multi duplicate shop types
Too many retail units in the Town Centre for a modern day shopping centre. We don't need multiple pound shops and pawnshops. How many barbers and tattoo parlours do we need. Sell it off and build a few hundred or thousand housing units there and ease the pressure on green spaces while taking numbers off the target figure the council have for new housing in the town development plan. Consolidate the retail area towards the west end of the Town Centre where the new market is to be but and get rid of some of the multi duplicate shop types Howard Cháse

10:25am Tue 3 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

Rather tban borrowing millions to pay for it there's a good few acres of land justright for a nice exclusive and expensive dwellings housing development within the boundaries of their jurisdiction. It's called Lake Meadows Park and is big enough to swallow such a development and still leave room for the local pedigree dogemptiers and a kickabout area for the kids.

If it's good enough for Basildon surely it's good enough for Billericay...
Rather tban borrowing millions to pay for it there's a good few acres of land justright for a nice exclusive and expensive dwellings housing development within the boundaries of their jurisdiction. It's called Lake Meadows Park and is big enough to swallow such a development and still leave room for the local pedigree dogemptiers and a kickabout area for the kids. If it's good enough for Basildon surely it's good enough for Billericay... Howard Cháse

12:40pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Ian P says...

"The authority would have borrowed the millions to pay for the investment, but calculated it would have ultimately made a six-figure profit. This could have been invested in the town, to improve the shop frontages on East Walk".
£100K is a six figure sum and a very poor return on an investment of £7mils. With the prices it seems that Councils pay for things nowadays, the profit would barely fund a new zebra crossing let alone refurbish 30 shop fronts.
"The authority would have borrowed the millions to pay for the investment, but calculated it would have ultimately made a six-figure profit. This could have been invested in the town, to improve the shop frontages on East Walk". £100K is a six figure sum and a very poor return on an investment of £7mils. With the prices it seems that Councils pay for things nowadays, the profit would barely fund a new zebra crossing let alone refurbish 30 shop fronts. Ian P

1:02pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Howard Cháse says...

Ian P wrote:
"The authority would have borrowed the millions to pay for the investment, but calculated it would have ultimately made a six-figure profit. This could have been invested in the town, to improve the shop frontages on East Walk".
£100K is a six figure sum and a very poor return on an investment of £7mils. With the prices it seems that Councils pay for things nowadays, the profit would barely fund a new zebra crossing let alone refurbish 30 shop fronts.
Six figure profit...

One thousand two hundred and twenty nine pounds and forty five pence
[quote][p][bold]Ian P[/bold] wrote: "The authority would have borrowed the millions to pay for the investment, but calculated it would have ultimately made a six-figure profit. This could have been invested in the town, to improve the shop frontages on East Walk". £100K is a six figure sum and a very poor return on an investment of £7mils. With the prices it seems that Councils pay for things nowadays, the profit would barely fund a new zebra crossing let alone refurbish 30 shop fronts.[/p][/quote]Six figure profit... One thousand two hundred and twenty nine pounds and forty five pence Howard Cháse

9:38pm Tue 3 Dec 13

Rochford Rob says...

Councils broke? Yeah right. They are awash with cash.
Councils broke? Yeah right. They are awash with cash. Rochford Rob

7:35am Wed 4 Dec 13

VanRes says...

Interesting changes within the town centre l hear. The complete block of retail units from the Market to the old McDonald's is being demolished as part of the changes in relation to the new college in the area of the current market. This is why McDonalds's shut down, they only had two years left on the lease knowing it will not be renewed.
Interesting changes within the town centre l hear. The complete block of retail units from the Market to the old McDonald's is being demolished as part of the changes in relation to the new college in the area of the current market. This is why McDonalds's shut down, they only had two years left on the lease knowing it will not be renewed. VanRes

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