Tycoon Ali opening department store in Fife
Tahir Ali: opportunity
A property entrepreneur is aiming to revive a town’s retail offering by opening a department store in a building formerly occupied by Debenhams.
Tahir Ali, acquired the building in Kirkcaldy High Street last year and after evicting the tenant in a dispute over unpaid rent he now intends to launch the ‘Fife Department Store’.
Mr Ali, whose company Evergold bought the down-at-heel Postings Shopping Centre in the town three years ago, says he is owed £100,000 in rent from the high street unit, but wants to make a fresh start.
“I feel that allowing them to remain at my property would have been a far worse predicament for Kirkcaldy and me,” he said.
“I have decided to take the opportunity to bring on board a knowledgeable team of retail suppliers and specialists to help launch and support our own High Street department store.”
Mr Ali will continue working with the existing concessionaires who had filled the ground floor along with the 3 Beans coffee chain.
“It would have been a great shame to leave a gap in Kirkcaldy High Street when there exists such an exciting opportunity to develop a local and varied department store in the heart of the town’s pedestrianised centre to the benefit of the local community,” he said.
Mr Ali said that the 20,000 sq ft Fife Department Store will comprise concessions, local businesses and on the first floor will focus solely on quality affordable women’s clothing, children’s wear and menswear.
“Whilst we all find ourselves in extremely challenging times, I am confident that Fife Department Store will prove popular with the local community and consumers and we all look forward to a busy trading period in the run up to the festive season and beyond,” he said.
He is now working on plans for the 80,620 sq ft former Postings Shopping Centre he acquired in February 2019 for £310,000 in an auction from pension fund Columbia Threadneedle. It had put a £1 reserve price on the building which it had bought in 2003 for £10.25 million.
Mr Ali and his team have been working on a major change for the three-acre town centre gateway site and will make an announcement before the end of the year.