The Apprentice's Lord Sugar has signalled a return to the boom years with the proposed sale of three of his prized Mayfair properties, at pre-credit crunch prices.
The one-time Enterprise Tsar is seeking £120m for the portfolio, which would be comparable to 2006 numbers.
The star asset is the period façade retail and office property at 6-8 Old Bond Street, which is occupied by the luxury retailer Dolce & Gabbana and Condé Nast, the publisher of Glamour magazine. The other two properties are Albemarle House on the corner of Albemarle Street and Grafton Street, which is let to the royal jewellers Asprey & Garrard, and Sackville House on the corner of Sackville Street and Piccadilly.
Daniel Sugar, Lord Sugar's son, who manages the property investment portfolio, said: "We have received unsolicited approaches from three parties but we decided it was best, and the right approach, to appoint a property adviser and see where the market is at. These properties are unique Mayfair freeholds."
The three properties, comprising a mix of office, retail and residential space, are being sold by Lord Sugar's privately owned property vehicle, Amsprop Estates, part of the Amshold Group. Michael Elliott, a property services firm, is the selling agent.
Investment in the UK's commercial property sector has seen a resurgence after a 40 per cent fall in values, and there is growing investor interest, especially from overseas buyers.
Properties in Mayfair, one of the most expensive areas in the world, always attract interest. Stores on Old Bond Street – London's premier luxury shopping street, which ranks beside Fifth Avenue in New York and Rue Faubourg Saint Honore in Paris – are especially favoured.
Damian Corbett, the head of West End Markets at Jones Lang LaSalle, a property services firm, said: "The prime West End market has become a safe haven for a wide range of high-net-worth individuals, overseas investors and sovereign wealth funds over the past 18 months. Where other markets globally have been suffering, or where there is uncertainty, the West End market has continued to outperform."
Lord Sugar has invested in the UK property market since 1985. In Amshold Group's results for the year to 30 June, the value of the property portfolio fell by £65.2m to £253.7m. Other business interests in Lord Sugar's Amshold Group include aircraft chartering and management services.