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Insider South East Property Awards 2022

We are thrilled to announce that the Grant Saw Commercial Property department has been shortlisted in the ‘Deal of the Year’ category ahead of the Insider South-East Property Awards which take place on 14 July 2022.

The firm represented and advised Moxie Management Two Limited (Moxie) on the £2,900,000 acquisition of a Debenhams site based in Hastings from mortgagee appointed LPA receivers which was also subject to long overriding leases of 68 flats and garages in the building. The project required high-level collaboration between the firm’s commercial property transactional, commercial property litigation and property insolvency lawyers.

Moxie is a property development company with several properties in the South-East. Their vision is to work with local communities to repurpose buildings that will play a part in the rejuvenation and commercial future for South-East communities.

Moxie took on the task of repurposing and reviving an iconic former Debenhams building in the heart of Hastings. Unloved and in a bad state of disrepair, there was an overwhelming sense of duty to bring back its former glory.

Understanding the importance of the town centre as the hub of a community, challenges faced by Covid-19 and the declining high street retail sector, Moxie aligned plans with Hastings Borough Council’s key goals namely jobs, enterprise growth and improving a disconnected town centre, creating a brief around finding tenant/s to create jobs, increase visitors to the High Street, drive economic growth and act as a platform for additional external town investment.

82% of the building will act as a leading entertainment venue, offering over 20 attractions including immersive theatres, tenpin bowling, VR arcade and crazy golf. There is an ambition to hire over 100 full-time local positions with an anticipated wage bill of £2.5m from year two onwards. The presence of this state-of-the-art venue will cement Hastings as a viable visitor destination, attracting visitors and bringing spend to the high street from which other businesses will benefit.

18% will act as community-led managed co-working spaces by an award-winning business playing a vital role in supporting local employment, providing quality office space for those looking to relocate. £3,500,000-£4,000,000 will be invested.

The Insider South-East Property Awards recognises the most successful developers, developments, and deals in the region over the past 12 months.

Mario Savvides, Partner and Head of Commercial Property at Grant Saw, said “We are delighted to be shortlisted as a finalist in the ‘Deal of the Year’ category. This transaction represented a significant instruction for the firm for a number of reasons. It required the highest level of internal collaboration the firm has ever worked on for a single transaction and a combination of multiple legal skillsets including risk and compliance personnel, and our most senior commercial property lawyers, property development lawyers, insolvency lawyers, litigation lawyers and not to mention ad hoc involvement from the firm’s corporate and commercial lawyers. Even before the legal complexities and title defects were known, the instruction was already significant for the firm due to the very high-profile nature of the property and the CVA status of the occupational tenant, Debenhams, a national treasure and pillar of the UK high street retail market during the past century, leading to high media scrutiny both locally and nationally with interest from the Local Authority and local residents alike”.

In a joint statement, Bella Landen and Sophie Hubble, Directors at Moxie, said “We are absolutely thrilled to be finalists for this prestigious award! Grant Saw have been invaluable in helping us navigate through this complex property deal. Between us, we made a solid team! We have repurposed an unloved iconic building and created a vibrant, exciting space that will benefit the community. Reaching the final of the Insider South-East Property Awards, is the icing on the cake”!

The ceremony takes place on Thursday 14 July 2022 at the Crowne Plaza – Felbridge, Gatwick. You can view the full shortlist here.

Wishing the very best of luck to our fellow finalists.