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Boarded up landmark building could be a Wetherspoons pub

PUBLISHED: 08:45 30 November 2018 | UPDATED: 17:07 30 November 2018

Hardwick House, once one of Norwich's finest buildings, is boarded up and now available to let. Pic: Luke Powell.

Hardwick House, once one of Norwich's finest buildings, is boarded up and now available to let. Pic: Luke Powell.

Hardwick House, one of the most impressive buildings in Norwich which is currently empty and boarded up, could become a pub as it goes up for rental after its £1.6 million sale falls through.

Hardwick House, looking impressive, when Savills were occupying the main office section. Pic: www.edp24.co.ukHardwick House, looking impressive, when Savills were occupying the main office section. Pic: www.edp24.co.uk

One of Norwich’s most famous landmark buildings could become a Wetherspoons pub as it is about to be available for business let, it was revealed today.

Hardwick House, on Agricultural Hall Plain, is currently boarded up as the main part of the building has been empty since agents Savills vacated over a month ago.

The building, currently in receivership, was up for sale for £1.6 million and had a buyer but they pulled out when Savills exercised its right to break its lease agreement, which would have seen them remain until 2023, and vacate. And with no other buyers coming forward, the decision has been taken to put it up for rental, with change of business use available.

This means it could be taken on for use as a restaurant or bar and even a gym.

Will Jones, a partner at Bidwells, the agents for Hardwick House, said the pub chain Wetherspoons, which already has four establishments in Norwich, and renowned for using historic properties, were being approached.

“We will be contacting Wetherspoons as it (Hardwick House) could be a bar or restaurant. We will be looking at all options; there is plenty of demand for gyms or fitness clubs too.”

He said with so much conversion of offices to residential, there was now a shortage so the building could still be used for a business. However, the reality is that such a building, right in the city centre, a location becoming increasingly difficult to get to by car, and with no extensive parking facilities, may not be deemed suitable as an office.

The building offers just under 8000 sqft with a large front section with an extensive open plan office and some individual rooms and a staircase taking you to a mezzanine level. Mr Jones said the rental would depend on its use but would be in the region of £80,000 per annum.

The grand neo-classical building, created in 1866 in Bath stone and once a post office and bank, was for sale in January but the interested buyer pulled out when Savills vacated, meaning the loss of £130,000 guaranteed rent per annum. The building also has several residential flats at the rear, and with a separate entrance on King Street, bringing in a ground rent of just under £5000 a year. Mr Jones said residents were unaffected by the fact the building was in receivership, with any matters directed to the receivers.

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