Cariad Developments, a privately owned property company from Chester, has sold the former 15,838 sq ft Total Fitness facility along with Mannin House a standalone office building in Crewe to Network Rail.

Cariad acquired the site in early 2020 as a medium-term development opportunity. Plans for the site were significantly changed by the pandemic and its devastating effect on the leisure sector, specifically Total Fitness. Total Fitness vacated the site during 2021 leaving two thirds of the site redundant.

The vacancy of Total Fitness provided the opportunity to sell a prime site area of 6 acres with added redevelopment opportunities, appealing to both industrial developers, speculators, investors and ultimately owner occupiers.

Matthew Pochin of Legat Owen, who acted for Cariad, said “This was not the easiest transaction to bring to a conclusion mainly due to the competitive market place for opportunities of this nature. However, seeing Crewe as a key location for the business and ultimately the railway sector, Network Rail ultimately came forward with a strong offer and moved from agreement to completion within five working days.”

Guy Cooke of BNP Paribas Real Estate (BNPPRE), who are retained nationwide by Network Rail, said: “This strategic acquisition will facilitate yet further investment by Network Rail at this site and within the wider Crewe area in the coming years.”

The site was purchased for an undisclosed sum.

Cariad were advised by Legat Owen and Hatrick