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Will rents be higher in Kirkgate Market after the redevelopment?

December 10, 2014
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One of the issues that worry most people is whether rents will be higher once the redevelopment project is complete.
Leeds City Council has explained that “there is no intention” to raise rents in “existing units” in Kirkgate Market. This does not actually answer the issue as the council is only referring here to traders that will not have to move because of the redevelopment. But what will happen to those affected by the redevelopment?

  • Most traders who are forcibly displaced and have to find a new stall will find that most of the offered stalls’ rents will be higher. For example the butchers moving from the existing Butchers row to the new Fresh Food area will have to pay around 30% more rent on top of costs for fitting their new stall (for which they will get some help from the council).
  • We don’t know yet the rents for the proposed new Daily Covered Market (which replaces the 1976 hall fixed stalls) but previous documents from the council suggest that this space “Can be let at a premium thereby safeguarding rental income” (Investment Case, page 8 )
  • Again we don’t know what rents would be like in the new “Kirkgate Vilage” area but this area is clearly seen as an area with an “opportunity to create further income” (Investment Case, p.19) becoming a “quality shopping street” to attract Victoria Gate shoppers.

All this suggest that for most of the displaced traders that find a new stall, rents will be higher. And for probably all the new traders in the covered hall and Kirkgate Village rents will be higher than there had been before. Overall there will be higher rents in the new areas of the Market which will the stepping stone to ask for increments in the future.

Is this the start of gentrification?

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