The Stairway Goes Nowhere. He Bought It for $32K

Only in London?
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2023 4:55 PM CDT

"I don't think I've ever sold a vacant stairwell," longtime auctioneer Christopher Glenn said on Tuesday. That's now changed. A "disused" London stairwell has sold for about $32,000 at auction, the Guardian reports. The four-story stairwell once serviced the then-office building it was attached to, reports the New York Times, but the property was in 2016 converted into flats, with the access points between the building and the stairwell blocked off. It was snatched up by Simon Squibb, identified as co-founder of entrepreneur-focused HelpBnk. The company's chief marketing officer tells the Times the company intends to help start-ups by placing desks or advertisements within the stairwell.

An enthusiastic Squibb spoke with the BBC after winning the property and shared a more ambitious vision: "for each of the floors to have a different pop-up business—it might have a designer showcasing their new line of clothes on one floor, a coffee shop on another, and a new restaurant at the top that is serving food for people to try." Still, he did acknowledge that he and his team "haven't seen the building in person, don't know the legal implications, and don't know if we can get the planning permission we need for it." The location is not without its appeal, the Guardian notes: "It is flooded with natural light and, being a minute's walk from the Thames in the center of [the southwest London district of] Twickenham." (More strange stuff stories.)

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