Stonegate property’s value goes up by £1m in ONE year – as fashion shop moves in

35 Stonegate – once home to Haunted and now a shop. Photograph: YorkMix
7 Oct 2015 @ 7.02 pm
| Business, Property, Shopping

Did world-renowned astrologer Jonathan Cainer foresee that his Haunted house at 35 Stonegate would sell for £1.8m just 12 months after he sold it for £800,000?

York-based astrologer Jonathan Cainer, who bought 35 Stonegate in 1999 and sold it in 2014
York-based astrologer Jonathan Cainer, who bought 35 Stonegate in 1999 and sold it in 2014
Possibly not. But that’s precisely what’s happened.

The Fulford-based Daily Mail astrologer, who bought the property in 1999 and transformed it into spooky visitor attraction Haunted, sold it to Oakgate Group Pension Fund for £800,000 last October so he could “keep supporting various philanthropic and charitable causes, all of which require high levels of funds”.

Now the stunning Grade II listed, 15th century building has been bought by an unnamed West Yorkshire businessman for £1.8 million (or £1.875m, if you’re going to quibble over £75,000).

An absolute gem

Miles Lawrence is managing director of Lawrence Hannah property consultancy, based on Blossom Street, York. He advised Oakgate on the deal, and said:

This reinforces Stonegate’s reputation as arguably Yorkshire’s most prestigious retail street.

The building is an absolute gem, with a rich and varied history.

Miles said the Oakgate Group carried out a “very sensitive interior and exterior refurbishment programme to create superb retail space in the very heart of York”.

The property has been let to fashion, jewellery, homeware and gift retailer Oliver Bonas at a rent of £92,500 a year on a 10-year lease. That represents a 4.66% yield.

The current nearest store in the chain is 108 miles away in Birmingham.

House of the Bible

The latest Oliver Bonas collection, inspired by New York and soon to be on sale in old York
The latest Oliver Bonas collection, inspired by New York and soon to be on sale in old York

So what do you get for £1.8m in Stonegate? The building comprises three floors, a cellar that extends out under the shopping street, an attic and a ground-floor glazed courtyard.

Although the timber frontage dates back to the 15th century, the real story of 35 Stonegate began when Francis Hilyard opened his famous bookshop The Sign Of The Bible there in 1682.

The building became known as the House of the Bible, with a distinctive wooden bible still hanging over the front door.

Miles Lawrence believes the Stonegate deal demonstrates the strength of York’s commercial property investment market, adding:

The city remains an extremely attractive proposition for investors and occupiers, with its wealth of history, its superb transport links and its quality of life.

A glass act

It remained a bookshop until 1873, when glass painter John Ward Knowles acquired it “and recast the whole building to suit his tastes, with splendid disregard for authenticity”, according to the Bartholomew City Guide.

The Knowles family continued their stained glass business there until 1931 and lived on the premises until the 1990s.

35 Stonegate: A timeline

35-stonegate-york
The building has a long and fascinating history

1682   Francis Hilyard opens The Sign Of The Bible bookshop. A wooden bible still hangs over the front door

1873   Glass painter John Ward Knowles acquires the premises “and recast the whole building to suit his tastes, with splendid disregard for authenticity”, according to the Bartholomew City Guide to York. Much of the outstanding stained glass in the building is his work

1931  The Knowles family stop running their stained glass business at 35 Stonegate, but continue living there until the 1990s

1999  Jonathan Cainer buys the property

2004   With his friend Uri Geller, Jonathan relaunches it as the Museum Of Psychic Experience

2006   TV psychic Derek Acorah films an episode of Ghost Towns Live at 35 Stonegate and is tipped over a chair by a lively spirit. Apparently

2007   The Psychic Museum closes its doors as only 100 people a week were visiting. It is later reborn as Haunted

2014   Haunted‘s closure is announced. The final event is an all-night investigation into “what is probably York’s most haunted house” by the York Paranormal ghostbusters.

2015  Oakgate Group sells the building for £1.8m and Oliver Bonas announces it’s first Yorkshire store