The gazelle is finished

May 28th, 2013

Our gazelle sculpture is now finished, and is on display in the boardroom.

We are really thrilled with our new bronze. Sculptor Wendy Hunt and the team at the foundry have produced a beautiful piece.

Here I caught Graeme and Steve Jolliffe, photographer during a break in a photo shoot.

Wheel growth for independent cycle retailer

WHEEL GROWTH: From left, Graeme Quar, Mike Paget and Robert Harris outside Solent Cycles’ fourth store, at the new shopping centre at Whiteley, Hampshire. The £64m leisure and retail complex, over 320,000 sq ft, with more than 90% of space let, officially opens on May 23. Graeme, who runs commercial law firm Graeme Quar & Co, with offices in Fareham and Petersfield, has carried out all the legal work for Mike since Mike set up his first cycle store 17 years ago in West Street, Portchester. Robert, a consultant solicitor with 40 years’ experience in commercial property, is the latest addition to Graeme’s team, now 16-strong. The Whiteley shopping centre is a joint venture development by British Land and Universities Superannuation Scheme.

An  independent cycle store on the expansion route is the latest retailer to take up space at a new £64m shopping centre in Hampshire.

Solent Cycles, run by 39-year-old founder Mike Paget, has signed a seven-year lease on a 139 sq m (1,500 sq ft) corner unit at Whitely Shopping Centre, Whiteley, near Portsmouth.

The 29,289 sq m (320,000 sq ft) leisure and retail destination, with 56 shops and reportedly 91% let by rent, officially opens on Thursday (May 23).

High street names at the landscaped site, with open spaces and public art, include Next, Topshop, M&S, H&M, Moss JD Sports, Boots and Body Shop.

Opposite Meadowside Leisure Centre, the Solent Cycles letting was handled by commercial law firm Graeme Quar & Co in a business relationship with Mike going back 17 years.

Graeme dealt with Mike’s first lease and subsequent renewals on the inaugural store at West Street, Portchester, in 1995, plus a second store at Marine Parade West, Lee-on-the-Solent, seven years ago and the third one in West Street, Fareham, three years ago.

Solent Cycles now employs 11 people overall, including manager Leon Topps, mechanic Craig Ponting and sales assistant Alex McDonald at Whiteley.

Mike said: “There is a clear business case for our products and services at Whiteley, both from the neighbouring residential communities and visitors coming to a destination shopping centre which could give Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth and WestQuays in Southampton a run for their money.”

He added: “Graeme’s firm has been handling my legal paperwork for 17 years. Both Graeme and his team are approachable – they understand business.”

In a related development, the firm also carried out the lease work for another arrival at Whiteley, the Fabulous Bakers.

Led by bakery entrepreneur Mark Waite, from Denmead, and his brother Kevin, Fabulous Bakers is creating 12 jobs with a 93 sq m (1,000 sq ft) bakery and restaurant just a few doors along from Solent Cycles.

Fabulous Bakers has a store at Middle Road, Park Gate, and plans to rebrand The Village Baker in London Road, Purbrook, which is run by Kevin, as the Fabulous Bakers.

Graeme, the managing director of Graeme Quar & Co, said: “Longevity is a hallmark of mutual respect and trust in business. With that in mind, we’re pleased to see that both Solent Cycles and the Fabulous Bakers are punching above their weight and going for growth, generating valuable jobs as the economy starts to pick up.”

Paperwork was carried out by Robert Harris, the latest legal consultant to join 16-strong Graeme Quar & Co, which has offices in Fareham and Petersfield and has had a record year of growth and appointments.

Rent details were not disclosed.

Robert, who has 40 years’ experience in commercial property, previously worked for Mundays LLP in Surrey.

Other recent signings include Lorna Palmer, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives, and Michael Dalton, a senior commercial property and business solicitor.