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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 May, 2004, 18:40 GMT 19:40 UK
David Morgan sold for 29m
David Morgan department store
The store has been trading for over a century
One of Wales' largest family-run department stores is to be sold for 29m and be transformed into shops and city centre homes.

The David Morgan store and the Royal and Morgan Arcades in Cardiff have been bought by London-based property investment company, Helical Bar.

The purchase is due to be completed next March and the listed building in the Hayes in the city will then be divided into smaller stores and residential units.

David Morgan employs around 500 full and part-time staff and they will be made redundant when it closes.

Helical Bar Investment Director, Michael Brown, confirmed once David Morgan vacates the company would be creating larger retail units and managing the independent stores in the arcades.

We're still planning the closure, but we are trading as normal until late January or early February.
David Andrews
"David Morgan's facade is one of the finest in Wales and we would not dream of knocking it down. We want to be part of the rejuvenation of the Hayes," said Mr Brown.

They were considering all the options including creating retail units on the lower ground floor, ground floor and first floor of the store and creating residential spaces on the second, third and fourth floors, he said.

"But everything depends on negotiations with the local planning authority."

The independent store is still owned and managed by the descendants of the founder, David Morgan.

"We will be celebrating 125 years of trading in October and we will be maintaining the premises to a high standard until we vacate," said managing director David Andrews.

"We're still planning the closure, but we are trading as normal until late January or early February."

Arcades

The store site covers 170,000 sq ft of trading space and sells a variety of goods - from souvenirs to soft furnishings.

A series of shops in the Royal and Morgan arcades, around 65,000 sq ft in area, run beneath and alongside the store.

Mr Brown from Helical Bar says he wants to see shops in both arcades continue to trade.

"The trend is for independent operators to rent units in the Royal and Morgan Arcades - I hope this will continue."

Born near Brecon in 1833, the original David Morgan traded in Pontlottyn in the Rhymney Valley for 21 years before moving to the Hayes in 1879.

The store and arcades are owned by the holding company Deymel Investments.




SEE ALSO:
David Morgan closure talks
26 Nov 03  |  Wales
Family-run supermarkets sold
11 Jul 03  |  Europe
John Lewis pulls out of town
19 Sep 03  |  North East Wales
Department store for mart site
15 Sep 03  |  South West Wales


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