By Matthew Bates Wednesday 09 January 2013 Updated: 09/01 14:54
COUNCIL bosses are set to buy up seven shop buildings in the first moves towards the huge development planned for the city centre.
The Shelton Square buildings - which house Greggs, two Polish shops and a jewellers - are available after a property company went bust.
They all fall inside the boundary of the ambitious £300million Southside development.
The council already owns the freehold of the land but does not own the buildings or receive any rent.
The Southside plan was given outline planning permission last year, with work aimed to start around 2016 when the council would have to have paid above the market value to compulsorily purchase them to make way for the redevelopment.
A report that went before its cabinet on Tuesday claimed borrowing cash for the deal now would be the best solution while it could claw some money back in rents from existing tenants.
It added risks included one or more of those going bust and income being lost but claimed the price set to be paid reflected that.
Council officer Paul Beesley told councillors: "Initially the investment acquisition is to be seen as a financial transaction however if it helps to deliver a redevelopment of the city centre this would help to make Coventry a more attractive and enjoyable place to be encouraging a more active and vibrant city centre, improving the environment providing a more energy efficient development."
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