Nour Cash and Carry, a vital part of the local market scene, has been ordered to quit Brixton’s Market Row.
The store, run for many years by Salam Shaheen and his family, has entrances on Market Row and Electric Avenue and is famed locally for its quality, value and variety of goods available.
Hondo Enterprises, which owns Brixton Village and Market Row as part of a joint enterprise, said it had had to serve the notice due to vital infrastructure works.
It added in a statement that it was still “actively pursuing options to retain” Nour in the market.
Supporters of Nour said they were planning yet another campaign to save the store which was nearly forced to leave by the previous owners of Brixton Village in 2012 who proposed an unsustainable increase in rent.
Hondo said that it had been discussing options with Nour since Spring last year. None of its offers to date have been accepted, it said.
“As landlords, one of our biggest challenges since taking ownership has been to improve the infrastructure of the market in order for it to continue to serve the 150 traders and the local community,” Hondo said.
“We have invested extensively with regards to heating, drainage and the infrastructure within the market, but the lack of power within Market Row still remains a major challenge.
“In order to continue to provide the electricity to serve Market Row, UK Power Networks informed us that a new substation is required. This is evidenced by power cuts being a regular occurrence within the market.
“Due to existing constraints this unfortunately needs to be accommodated within Nour’s units, next to the existing substation. Until this issue is resolved it is limiting interested traders who would like to open in the empty units in Market Row, harming footfall and trade for all units in the building.”
Hondo said that Nour had been “a valued part of the community for the last 20 years” and that it did not want the infrastructure work to prevent the business from operating.
“We therefore first began discussions with the owners in Spring last year to try to keep Nour within the market.”
Since then Hondo says that there have been about 15 meetings to discuss how Nour could remain in Brixton.
“We have offered them various units within the market, including building a bespoke new unit, all at discount market rates. Unfortunately these offers have not been accepted at this point,” Hondo said.
“However, we would like to continue to pursue these options so they can retain a presence in the Market, though we are aware they are looking to expand to a bigger space.”
Saja Shaheen said her father Salam and his family came to the UK as refugees in 1991 from Iran and, before that, Iraq, having been forced to leave there by the Saddam Hussein regime in the 1980s.
“After years of war, displacement and uncertainty, we found ourselves in Brixton,” she said.
Hondo recenty submitted a planning application for new unit in Brixton Village underneath the Lost in Brixton club.
Apart from the headline, this article seems very one-sided in favour of Hondo, as if they’re doing their best to help Nour. Yet I’ve heard her rent is going up from £68k pa to £250k! Could we please hear Nour’s side of the story and what these ‘attempts to negotiate‘ have actually consisted of?
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