A major dealership group in Bristol is looking for a new site after the land it is leasing was sold to a housing association for millions of pounds.
City Motors, which is based at St Philips Causeway by the river Avon, has been in business for 92 years, and according to Bristol Live, the land it rents has been bought from the owner – an unnamed property firm – for £9.1m by Sovereign Housing Association.
The long-term lease is due to expire in 2023 and it’s believed it won’t be renewed.
Sovereign bought the land sometime in the middle of last year, but the purchase has only now been revealed.
City Motors holds the franchises for Citroen, Dacia, Renault and Volvo, and it could mean that hundreds of homes will replace the dealerships.
City Motors owner Robin Cook was quoted by Bristol Live as saying he gathered that Sovereign intended developing the site, so his priority was to guarantee a future for the business as well as employees’ jobs.
‘We are aware the premises we occupy… were sold last year and we are led to believe the new owner intends to redevelop the site,’ he said.
‘City Motors is part of Bristol’s commercial heritage, having established itself in the city in 1929, and we have a vibrant and successful business employing over 90 people.
‘It is imperative for us that we protect the job security of our dedicated staff, the loyalty of our customers and the success of our business.’
Sovereign declined to tell the website outright what its plans for the prime land were and no planning bid – which would have to include a change of use – is understood to have been submitted.
However, development director James Gibson was quoted as saying: ‘We have a great deal of interest in Bristol and are committed to providing homes for people that need them in places they want to live.
‘There is a shortage of affordable housing in and around the city, and as we move to a land-led development strategy, we are looking to take more control so that we can build the homes that local people can afford and enjoy.’
It follows the news that Robins & Day had closed the nearby Peugeot showroom, with staff transferred to the Cribbs Causeway dealership some 12 miles away.
Main image, via Google Street View, shows the City Motors site in Bristol including CarCo, which is part of City Motors
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