Belfast Telegraph

Friday 29 August 2014

Belfast nightclub Kremlin on market for £3m

The Kremlin complex, one of Belfast's most popular gay venues, was set up in 1999 and has gone on to become one of the city's best-performing nightclubs
The Kremlin complex, one of Belfast's most popular gay venues, was set up in 1999 and has gone on to become one of the city's best-performing nightclubs

The Kremlin nightclub in Belfast – Northern Ireland's best-known gay venue – has gone on the market for £3m.

Commercial property agents CBRE has been appointed to market the bar and restaurant complex close to the city's Cathedral Quarter.

The site also includes Union Street Bar, where the restaurant is located, and The Shoe Factory Club, where Union Street's club nights are held.

The sale is expected to generate major interest as it is located close to what will be the main University of Ulster campus, and the future home of over 10,000 undergraduates.

The three licensed venues – which are also close to new gay venue Maverick, in the bar formerly known as The Front Page – are self-contained.

The complex is let on a single lease for 10 years, due to expire in April 2019, at a current rate of £355,000 per year.

Tim Reid of CBRE said: "The Kremlin complex is one of Belfast's best-performing and well known licensed premises.

"The opportunity provides an investor with a secure, high-yielding income stream for a further five years, with the opportunity to renew the lease at expiry or potentially operate the establishment themselves."

He said the complex had been set up in 1999 and was trading seven days a week, generating steady income.

The venues complemented one another but were not in direct competition, he said.

"University of Ulster's new campus on York Street is due to be operational late 2018 which will bring an additional 15,000 students and staff into the immediate area.

"We are seeking offers in the region of £3m for this fantastic investment opportunity.

"This would show an investor an attractive net initial yield of 11.2% after purchaser's costs."

Last month, licensed trade adviser John Morgan of Panther Purchasing said he expected a large number of licensed trade transactions this year as demand picks up.

"Recent transactions have indicated that there is an appetite in the sector and, whilst still a challenge, institutional funding is becoming more available."

An online guide to the Belfast gay scene describes the Kremlin as the city's "best gay-owned dance club for men and women".

The complex is owned by Seamus Sweeney and Andre Graham – but for the past five years, it has been run under a 10-year lease by Anthea Wilson of Anthology NI Ltd.

The Dunbar Arms on Dunbar Link – later the Parliament – was the first pub in Belfast to become a well-known gay venue.

It was overhauled and renamed Mynt, which became well known for its 'Yello' club nights.

But Mynt later closed down – though it was recently reopened as Villa, billing itself a "luxury nightclub" after a £750,000 overhaul.

Meanwhile, the site of former nightclub Rain on Tomb Street is due to reopen as T-Street Warehouse.

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