End of an era as Grahamstown landmark sold

Cindy Preller

ONE of the old dames of the City of Saints has been sold.

The Grocott’s Mail building, a landmark in Grahamstown’s High Street, has been sold to an Eastern Cape investor after being in the Grocott family for more than 120 years.

Although the selling price was not disclosed by Pam Golding Properties, who facilitated the sale, it is estimated to be substantial since commercial properties are in high demand in Grahamstown.

The area principal at Pam Golding Properties in Grahamstown, Daphne Timm, said commercial properties were even more in demand than the highly sought-after residential properties in Grahamstown, with top schools and Rhodes University being the main drawcards to the city.

Timm said it was an emotional decision for the former owner, Jeff Grocott, to sell the building, which has been in the Grocott family since it was built in 1892. However, new owner, Supello Investments “will be ensuring the preservation of this treasured town landmark”.

Timm said the new owner did not want to discuss the sale in the media but indicated that the current tenants would stay on and the building’s character would be preserved.

Grocott’s Mail editor Steven Lang said the newspaper would continue to occupy the top two floors and negotiations about the lease were ongoing. “A few smaller businesses operate from the basement and Radio G, our local radio station, is also based in the building,” Lang said.

Grocott’s Mail was established by Thomas Henry Grocott, with its first edition published in 1870. Grocott’s remained mostly a family business and was taken over by Jeff Grocott – the great-grandson of the founder – who was in the business for 43 years until it was sold to Rhodes University in 2003.

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