Property portfolio goes under hammer

editorial image

A WHITBY business owner says she will have to steer clear of Skinner Street and Silver Street when her empire is sold.

Jacqueline Hall has become so attached to the business she built up with her late husband Michael she says it will be hard to let go even though she knows “the time has come”.

Her properties, which include the Vinyard restaurant in Silver Street, Doodlepots and Natural Origins on Skinner Street and six studio apartments, are set to be sold at public auction next month.

Jacqueline told the Gazette: “My husband died in early 2007. I took over and am nearly 70.

“Andrew has his own business and Helen is a teacher in York. Neither of them are interested so the time has come.”

The lot goes under the hammer on 1 February with a guide price of £400,000 to £450,000.

The marketing details decribe the sale as “a valuable multi-investment property producing a high income.”

When Jacqueline and Michael started out on their venture back in 1978 it wasn’t quite the business it has turned out to be.

There was a shop, no restaurant and the basement was being used by an old builder.

Jacqueline said: “Michael was in retail, we bought the property as an investment, a part of which was a furnishings shop which he was into so we bought it for that.

“The plan was developing it like a wedding cake in separate layers.”

The first development was the restaurant. Two spiral staircases which linked their other properties were removed making it self-contained and the Post Office agreed to give it a Silver Street address as that’s where the only access was from.

It opened in Easter of 1982 as Andersons – being named after a master mariner called Joseph Anderson who used to live there and incidentally the builder, back in 1763, was John Skinner.

But, it wasn’t like the 70 plus cover bistro it is now.

Jacqueline says: “I was in the kitchen and I am a physiotherapist – there wasn’t all the rules and regulations there is nowadays.

“We had soup and there was a salad bar and people helped themselves. It was very simple.”

Later on Jacqueline and Michael split the shops and moved out of the maisonette above that they had been living in and converted them into six bedsits which have been updated in line with safety regulations.

She added: “I am 50/50 about selling but I have got to the stage where I ought to be doing a bit less.

“I will be sad because it has been my life all these years, we built it up and did what we planned to do.

“When it goes I will veer from going down Skinner Street or Silver Street for some time. It is silly but that is how I feel.”