Manowar made their triumphant return to the UK last year at Birmingham's O2 Academy, Black Sabbath made their comeback their on Saturday night and I AM I make their live debut there this Sunday. Now the venue has been put up for sale at an auction with a guide price of £2 million, and is expected to attract attention from speculators.
The venue, on Bristol Street, was previously a favourite haunt for many as the Dome nightclub, and has a capacity of 3,859 across three arenas. It is on offer purely as an investment opportunity as there are more than 22 years to run on its lease, but with a potential return of more than eight per cent, auctioneers are expecting significant interest.
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Patrick Kerr, head of the commercial auction department at Allsop, said the property has come onto the market as it has been deemed too small by its current owner, who has plans to invest in larger premises.
He said: "The owners at the moment are a private investor and they have got properties all over the country. This is actually a bit small for them.
"The type of buyer we are expecting is a wealthy private individual. It may be someone local – because it is quite a landmark building – or it could attract interest from overseas.
"People will be attracted by the income. Anything that has got a long lease is going to attract interest because people are more risk averse in the current climate."
The O2 Academy will go under the hammer at Allsop's commercial auction at the Park Lane Hotel on May 21. It offers an income of £165,500 a year, offering an 8.2 per cent return if the property goes for £2 million, and with interest rates at historic low levels, Mr Kerr believes that will make it an attractive option.
George Walker, auctioneer and partner for Allsop, said: "We expect further interest from the increasingly opportunistic Asian investors who are using the exchange rate to their advantage."
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