Unusual Auction Property

The Former Theatre in Folkestone

Today I took a day trip to the coast and went to Folkestone to see a former theatre. I haven’t been to Folkestone for years but was attracted by the look of the building and the low guide:

It was just off the centre of town and in an area which seemed to be “up-and-coming” – there were some nice independents, boutiques and a feeling that things may be improving.

It was a huge building which had lapsed planning to be an indoor antiques centre and market.  While it doesn’t look so big from the front – you can really get a sense of scale from the rear…it just went on and on and on – and it was over 4 floors! (I have outlined in red the footprint of the building)

So I decided to speak to the bank manager about buying the project. I was thinking to keep the ground floor for retail (you never know I may even open another branch of Gorgeous Homes here!) and then converting the upper floors to residential. I had worked out we could get about 8 flats from the upper floors.

He dug out the file of a project where a client had done a similar conversion so that we could go through some figures….EEK! The conversion costs would be crippling and the end value would not support such a mammoth investment.

And so I’m not going to convert this old theatre in Folkestone to flats…I’ll leave it to someone else 🙂

    1. Sam

      Guide was about 65k – sold for 105k in the end. It had a fire exit at the rear. I was going to put a lot of windows in the sides of the building. Conversion costs were astronomical though and there are better places to put close on half a million pounds!

  1. Rich Greenland

    I agree, you’d be starting with just a shell, you’d need to put ALL the structural internals in, and as Nick says fire escapes and alarms would be another issue. Then all the services, soundproofing (which FWIW generally more than covers fire-proofing), you’d have a very large bill. That’s assuming you’d even get PP… It’s often easier and cheaper to build from scratch than to try to shoe-horn flats into a structure built for an entirely different purpose.

    1. Sam

      I understand – but if we don’t convert older buildings then we will just be left with loads of new builds – which is sad as there are so many beautiful old buildings which should be kept!

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