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La Sagesse Convent and School, Jesmond, Newcastle

Together with joint agents Stanley Hicks, based in London, we received instructions in September 2008 to market the former school and convent situated on a 10 acre site in one of Newcastle upon Tyne’s prime residential areas. The property included a Grade 2* Listed former mansion together with other buildings of historic interest totalling nearly 74,000 sq ft. The site had considerable potential, but also created a number of challenges in view of its location in a Conservation Area and planning issues. The site was so sensitive from a Planning perspective that the Local Planners held a meeting for local residents so that all issues could be aired and debated. We represented the freeholder at the residents meeting.

Our initial marketing campaign leads to a number of expressions of interest.

We therefore sought best and final offers and received four strong unconditional offers together with other offers on a conditional basis.

It was our clients strong preference to sell unconditionally and in order to avoid getting into a situation whereby we accepted an offer only for this to be delayed during the legal process we advised the client to issue Auction style contracts to each of the four parties who had made unconditional offers.

This resulted in two of the parties including the eventual purchaser making increased revised offers and at the same time paying over a 5% deposit. We accepted the highest offer and contracts were exchanged within six weeks as per the timetable in the Auction style contract.

As well as handling the sale we also took full responsibility for the management of the site during the marketing campaign. This included arranging 24/7 security and dealing with other insurers requirements such as draining down the plumbing systems, isolating the electrical circuits, landscaping, dealing with statutory undertakers and generally mothballing the site and buildings.