Slot machine firm snaps up landmark building - Wednesday 28th of May 2008

A slot machine arcade firm has snapped up a landmark former bank in Preston city centre – and paid nearly £100,000 more than was expected.

The former Woolwich banking hall on the corner of Lune Street and Fishergate sold at a top London auction house for £730,000, well above the £650,000 guide price.

The unnamed firm beat a local family in a bidding war for the building, which was owned by banking giant Barclays.

However, the former Dolcis shoe shop in Fishergate, which went under the hammer at the same sale, was withdrawn at the last minute.

George Walker of auctioneers Allsops said the sale of the historic building was one of the highlights of the sale in London on Tuesday.

He said: "We had a local family from Preston which was very keen on the building, but they lost out to an amusement arcade operator which paid significantly over the original asking price.

"There was a bit of competition for the property, which highlights the quality of what was being made available."

He said the arcade operator was expected to open in the city centre location in the near future.

Partner Danny Pinkus, of Preston-based commercial property consultants Robert Pinkus and Co, said the sale was "a real boost" for the city centre.

He said: "I would assume the high asking price shows there is strong interest in Preston, which should hopefully mean that it will not remain empty for much longer."

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