Sale of Connect38 in Dover Place, Ashford to Folkestone & Hythe District Council announced
The sale has been agreed between Ashford Commercial Quarter Ltd and Folkestone and Hythe District Council for Connect38, the award winning building from Quinn Estates credited with unlocking town centre regeneration.
The building, completed in June 2018, was constructed by Quinn Estates, in partnership with George Wilson Holdings, delivering 80,000 sq. ft. of premium retail and office space. The site in Dover Place, Ashford completed the first phase of Ashford’s new Commercial Quarter.
Both companies had retained ownership of Connect38 as shareholders of Ashford Commercial Quarter Ltd, having bought the land for a nominal sum from Ashford Borough Council with a caveat the the local authority would receive a share of any subsequent sale.
Connect38 has proved a great success for Ashford with the building attracting an exciting mix of tenants, including tech firm PageSuite and leading accountancy business, Wilkins Kennedy. At the time of launch, the building was already 75% let with its close proximity to Ashford International rail station a key factor in that success. It has also helped to unlock further regeneration for the area.
The sale results in Folkestone and Hythe District Council taking over the freehold of the building, and will receive future rental income from tenants with Ashford Borough Council continuing to benefit from business rates, producing ongoing income for both local authorities.
Commenting on the sale agreement, Mark Quinn, Chief Executive and Chairman of Quinn Estates said: “We’re proud of what we have delivered at Connect 38 with its success showing the potential of future phases of Ashford’s Commercial Quarter. We wish Folkestone and Hythe Council well with their investment.
“This was the first spec build in Kent in 20 years and a real example of what you can get done when local authorities and developers work together. Thanks to that professional relationship, we were able to put in place a real economic driver for Ashford that will deliver benefits to the borough for years to come.”