Former Manchester office building to become latest setting in The Heatons Preschool Group
Specialist business property adviser, Christie & Co, has announced the sale of a former office building in Stockport, Greater Manchester, to nursery operator, The Heatons Preschool Group.
Built in 1929, this attractive two-storey detached former office building is set within established landscaped grounds and comprises 2,580 square feet of useable space. The site currently offers eight parking spaces and includes a two-storey former stable building which provides scope for an increased effective occupancy capacity or use for an external office/staff facility.
As well as it’s sought-after location in the town of Cheadle in Stockport, the property boasts several factors which are especially appealing to a nursery buyer. One being a higher-than-average local fee rate and another that this offers a ‘blank canvas’ for an operator to develop as they see fit, infusing their own ethos from the offset.
The property has been acquired by nursery operator, The Heatons Preschool Group Limited, as its third setting to date. Owner, Marie Feeley, opened her first nursery in Heaton Mersey, Stockport, in 2018 and acquired a second in Heaton Moor a few years later. Claire Donly, who is currently the manager at the Group’s Didsbury Road site, will be moving to manage the Cheadle site once it is in operation.
Marie Feeley comments, “Our first nursery, on Didsbury Road, was a grand period property and we converted that building, from scratch, into a nursery. This building reminded us of that. It is important for us to create a ‘home away from home’ environment, particularly for babies, and converting a period property allows us to create the most exciting well-resourced living room that a baby could ever want!
“Riversdale House fits with our ethos of creating small, high-quality childcare settings – it is the perfect size to allow us to deliver a personal and tailored approach for the children and our parents. The building has been very well maintained so the primary focus for us is to equip it with fantastic resources in three dedicated spaces for babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers. We will be investing in creating a completely new outdoor area that will be exciting and stimulating for children of all ages.”
Sofia Beck, associate director at Christie & Co, comments, “Due to the many benefits which come with setting up a nursery organically, we have a number of buyers who are seeking out these types of opportunities which are rare to come by in such popular locations. One of the key attractions for a nursery buyer looking at this property, aesthetics aside, was that there was no requirement for a change of use to the building.
“Last year’s Use Classes Order changes mean that day nurseries and offices share the same use class, along with retail shops, restaurants, financial/professional services, leisure facilities etc. Often, planning applications for a property change of use to a day nursery can be declined due to onerous restrictions set out by the highways department so this could eliminate a great deal of stress and time wasted going forwards. Vacant commercial properties sold for proposed day nursery premises can often command a higher premium than they could to sell for alternative uses. This is based on the high/unsatisfied demand of nursery buyers and the added value to them given the nature of the business. The property has to be right and tick all of the boxes to allow them to offer the highest quality childcare and education for their children.
“I wish Marie and Claire all the best with the new setting and look forward to seeing the nursery once the renovations are complete and the new setting is up and running!”
The office building was sold for an undisclosed price.