Williams city Ayr Williams city Ayr

Retail mall to be sold off as offers invited for town centre site

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An Ayr town centre retail hub is to be sold off.The Lorne Arcade - home to nine units in the centre of the High Street - is on the market for offers over £700,000.Landlords have decided to cash in their chips on the site, which plays host to established businesses such as Timpsons, Forum Phones, Games Workshop and the busy Marco's barber shop.Selling agents Keller Williams estimate a total annual rental value at the Arcade of £69,400.Seven of the nine units are currently occupied.They say the mini mall offers an "attractive retail investment opportunity" to potential buyers.We told earlier this year how angry traders believed they were being "forced out" after being asked to sign long leases, cough up almost double their rent or get out.Tenants claimed they were being pressured by landlord Scotsbridge Commercial Ltd to sign five-year leases, pay extortionate rent increases or vacate the premises within 14 weeks.Body Art Tattooing & Piercing, who traded within the arcade for 22 years, were among those to quit in the summer.They said Scotsbridge had asked them to sign a five-year lease at £8000 per year - when previously they had been paying just £5500.Ian McFadzean, of Body Art, said at the time: “We’d like to have an agreement that we can individually choose what we want for a lease.“We’re all happy working in the arcade, we don’t want to go elsewhere."But we don’t want to be forced into working into our 70s, or taking on a five-year lease when you want a three-year lease.”Scotsbridge, who only took charge of the arcade in July last year, denied earlier this year that they were forcing tenants out the door and insisted they were being "extremely cooperative".Director Varun Bagla had told Ayrshire Live: "If the tenants

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