City’s Custard Factory bought by property firm
BIRMINGHAM’S famous Custard Factory has been sold to a partnership of three young real estate developers.
Former owner Lucan Gray has sold his share in the family firm to Oval Real Estate, a privately owned investment and asset management company in London.
The deal includes Fazeley Studios and the warehouses in Heath Mill Lane, Digbeth. Benny Gray, Lucan’s father, retains ownership of the Zellig business centre, while Lucan is holding on to The Big Peg in the Jewellery Quarter.
“We have bought Lucan Gray’s holdings in Digbeth,” said Nick Prior, co-founder of Oval Real Estate.
“That includes the Custard Factory, Fazeley Studios and the warehouses in Heath Mill Lane.
“We’re very excited by it and are committed to the long-term regeneration of Digbeth.
“We’re unable to talk about what is going to happen there just yet other than to say we’ll be following on from the good work that Lucan has done.
“It’s all very fresh and we’re still working everything out.
“We still need to talk to staff and tenants.”
Oval Real Estate was formed in 2013 by chartered surveyors James Craig and Nick Prior, and has gone on to buy and sell more than £600 million of UK commercial property. Oxford University graduate Max Schofield joined the team in 2015.
Rumours of the sale began circulat- ing at the end of last week. One of the tenants at the Custard Factory, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m seeing it as good news. There’s not much retail here.
“If it’s someone who understands retail, that would be good. It’s a good space but it needs a bit more activity here.”
Some tenants knew nothing about the sale, whilst another anonymous tenant said: “Everyone round here is talking about it Apparently the new guys have got money to invest. That’s what the Custard Factory needs.”
Left, the Custard Factory in Digbeth, and, above, former owner Lucan Gray