Belfast Telegraph

KFC boss Herbert sells Belfast properties for tasty £5m

Lesley offices are sold off in the run-up to auction

By John Mulgrew

KFC tycoon Michael Herbert has sold off two of his Belfast city centre buildings for over £5m.

Lesley Exchange 1 and Lesley Exchange 2 were part of a major property auction, but sold for an undisclosed amount shortly before the Osborne King event took place.

But it's understood both buildings went for at least their maximum reserve price.

The Lesley Exchange 1 building, which is fully let out to the Department of Finance, was on sale for £3.15m, while the neighbouring sister property was on the market for £2.3m.

Another property owned by Mr Herbert, a former KFC and JJB Sports site in Coleraine, did not meet its reserve, reaching £395,000.

Mr Herbert - whose company holds Europe's largest KFC franchise - is best known for the Lesley buildings, a collection of residential, commercial and office schemes named after his wife.

A number of the 46 properties which were due to be auctioned were sold ahead of the event, which was held at the Clayton Hotel in Belfast yesterday.

They included Westgate House, on sale for £750,000, which sits at the junction of Queen Street and Castle Street - it is close to Ladbrokes, Craftworld and Poundstretcher.

And there were a number of other bargains for would-be investors. They included a quaint cottage in Katesbridge, Co Down, which sold for just £50,000.

And for those looking to snap up a bargain, a half acre plot of land in Roslea, Co Fermanagh, sold for just £5,000.

Meanwhile, a plot of land with planning permission for eight homes in an upmarket part of south Belfast failed to sell at auction. The site at Dub Lane on the Malone Road was just shy of its reserve price of £2.195m.

Elsewhere in Belfast, two adjacent Donegall Pass properties also went under the hammer.

One went for £40,000 above its reserve price of £60,000, while a second, which is currently home to businesses including an antique shop, was sold for £148,000 - £53,000 above its reserve.

And someone with an eye for a cheap holiday home, snapped up a five-bedroom detached bungalow close to Malin Head in Co Donegal, for just £48,000.

There was also a bidding war over a 2.5 acre site in Omagh. It went for more than three times its reserve price, selling for £148,000.

Elsewhere, a building which is home to a Russell's Cellars in Co Down sold for £46,000.

The building at Main Street in Millisle went for £6,000 more than its maximum reserve.

And in Lifford, Co Donegal, a large four-bedroom house with grounds sold for £111,000. That was above its maximum reserve of £75,000.

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