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Retirement off the cards for married couple with Ponders End Alma Estate shop
A married couple with their hearts set on retirement say their business is “impossible” to sell now a Ponders End estate will be demolished.
Leaseholders Sagar Karamsadkar, 59, and his 56-year-old wife Sashi have run newsagents Ginger’s News in South Street in the Alma Estate for 27 years.
Last week, Enfield Council announced it will demolish the maisonettes and shops in South Street as well as all four towers in the Alma Estate and homes in Fairfield Close.
A total of 717 properties will be destroyed to make way for approximately 1,000 new shops and homes within the next ten years at a cost of £100million.
However, the development has wreaked havoc for couple as they had planned to retire within the next five years.
The pair, who have two sons aged 28 and 23, had planned to sell their business once their younger son had completed his medicine degree at University College London within the next few years.
However, the shop owners do not know how their business will be affected by the demolition, and say they will be unable to sell until the building work is complete.
Mr Karamsadkar said: “It is impossible to sell it now. Before all this came up, we had a plan where I wanted to retire in the next five years and by that time my wife would be nearly 60 and it would have all worked out.
“At the moment, anyone who wants to buy our business will know the council want to knock the estate down and we won’t be able to sell it.”
According to the father-of-two, who admits the estate needs a “facelift,” the council has offered to relocate the business closer to Ponders End station while the work is being carried out.
However, he said: “We have enough experience to know how our catchment area works and where our customers come from, it is more convenient here.”
On top of this, he claims the shop will lose business when tenants move out of the estate while it is being demolished.
Shop owner Costas Antoniades, who runs Premier Cafe in South Street, is unsure what will happen to his business now the estate will be demolished.
He said: “This business has been established over the past ten years – it will be very destructive for us. I have invested a lot of money here.
“We are going to give it two to three years and see what kind of terms the council offer us, but it must be very generous terms because it is a lifetime of investment and it is not nice to hear we are going to be closed up.”
Enfield Council is due to formally confirm plans to demolish and rebuild the estate during a Cabinet Meeting on Wednesday, July 18.