5Rise shopping centre in Bingley
Construction on the new 5Rise shopping centre in Bingley is running on schedule at a time when many other projects are being delayed or frozen due to a lack of funds.
Henderson Global Investors’ retail property fund has returned to the UK market with the £35.6m acquisition of the Stanley Green Retail Park in Wilmslow, Manchester. This represents an initial net yield of 7 per cent for Herald, the pan-European property fund which currently has around £130m invested.
Joint venture company Salmon Harvester has acquired a 12.7-acre site opposite the Spinning Gate Shopping Centre in Leigh, Lancashire. It exchanged contracts with the Quinn Group to buy the site, which overlooks the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.
The proposed Dublin Central development
Chartered Land’s proposed Dublin Central development, on the Carlton Cinema site on O’Connell Street, has been rejected by An Bord Pleanala.
Irish wholesaler Barry’s has launched a direct challenge to discounters Lidl and Aldi, which have been thriving in the recession, with the trial of its Buy Lo format. A trial store opened on the Tougher Industrial Estate in Newbridge and reportedly traded well before it was forced to close due to planning issues.
Parkway Properties has started construction of the 17,000-sq m Millfield development. Anchored by a 10,000-sq m Tesco Extra store, the scheme will provide 30 shop units over two levels served by 692 parking spaces.
River Island at Tallaght
River Island has agreed to double the size of its store in the Square at Tallaght, only nine months after it opened in the centre. Coffee shop operator The Street has also signed up for a store.
TK Maxx is planning to open new stores in Galway and Portlaoise before Christmas 2009. The move comes despite a planning wrangle in Waterford, where the local authority ruled that the product mix in the TK Maxx store on the Butlerstown Retail Park was in breach of its planning consent which specified that only bulky goods could be sold.
TopShop has signed up to anchor O’Callaghan Developments’ €500m Opera Avenue development off St Patrick’s Street and Academy Street in Cork. Opera Avenue will bring over 20,000 sq m of new retail space to Cork city centre. The development will also include 61 apartments.
Belfast’s Victoria Square has signed Abercrombie & Fitch’s Southern Californian brand Hollister. The 8,000-sq ft store will be the fast-growing brand’s first in Ireland and is expected to open in late October. The letting will boost Victoria Square’s fashion line-up which already includes names like Ted Baker, Reiss, Firetrap, All Saints and Urban Outfitters.
Bluewater in Kent
Last summer, Lend Lease made two key appointments aimed at driving its UK shopping centre portfolio forward. Mark Boor joined as asset manager of the portfolio having previously been responsible for Prupim’s £9.5bn retail portfolio. And ex-DTZ agent Guy Thomas became head of leasing for the existing malls and for the development portfolio. Now, almost a year on, the new team is making its presence felt.
St David's 2 in Cardiff
No other region of the UK can boast three new shopping centres about to open, but Wales and the West Country are the UK’s two remaining hotbeds of development activity. St David’s in Cardiff, SouthGate in Bath and White River Place in St Austell are all due to open this autumn, and that means big changes for the region’s retail infrastructure.
Letchworth Garden City
Discovery Properties has been appointed developer of the retail-led regeneration scheme taking place in Letchworth, Hertfordshire.
GIVe, the latest fashion brand from serial entrepeneur George Davies, is set to open with a bang in malls across the country this autumn.
WestEnd in Blanchardstown
The opening of Ikea’s Dublin store has been warmly welcomed by Irish shoppers who have been flocking to the store in Ballymun in droves. At times the store has been so busy that the Swedish retailer has been forced to close its car park.
Grafton Street, Dublin
The savage recession is hitting Ireland’s retailers hard but opinion is split on whether two government measures will have the desired effect of easing the sector’s woes.
Gift cards are becoming more popular BigStockPhoto
There is nothing new about gift cards: in their former guise as paper-based vouchers they have been knocking around since the eighties. However, despite physical and technological transformations and rapid take-up in the UK, the nation’s retailers and shopping centres continue to lag some way behind our American counterparts.
Style Icon competition
Hosting events in the communal area of a mall forms a key part of a shopping centre’s commercialisation strategy. However, today’s credit crunched customers need more incentive than ever to set foot inside the nation’s malls.
Resource is a support services company
Shopping centre service charges are under pressure as never before. In the UK the major landlords have agreed a plan of action that will save retailers as much as 20 per cent on their service charge bills. And in the Republic, retailers are demanding across-the-board rent reductions, so service charges are sure to be on the agenda as well.
Union Square in Aberdeen
Union Square, Hammerson’s 700,000-sq ft retail-led regeneration scheme in Aberdeen city centre, will open to the public on 29 October 2009 and it is already more than 50 per cent let.
Footfall across the UK fell by 2.3 per cent in July following a similar performance over the last three months, according to the Retail Sales Monitor from the BRC and KPMG.
A sunny start to July strengthened the UK retail market with like-for-like sales rising in value by 1.8 per cent, figures from the BRC reveal.
Vacancy rates have dropped by an average of 25 per cent across the UK’s top 20 shopping centres since January, according to a recent survey by DTZ.
New research from Drivers Jonas paints a picture of a market nearing its floor. Market sentiment and investor appetite has significantly improved over the last three months. At the same time the supply of available investment opportunities remains low as liquidity pressure for the institutions and listed property companies has eased, Howard Richards reports.
Manchester's Triangle centre
Manchester’s Triangle shopping centre, famed for its regeneration after the IRA bomb in 1996, is holding a summer long exhibition to showcase its history and heritage.
Ben Fogle at White Rose
TV presenter Ben Fogle visited White Rose shopping centre in Leeds to launch Coolafone Live, a mobile phone recycling service.
'Big Boy's Toys' at The Chimes
The Chimes shopping centre in Uxbridge has been enticing people with its ‘Big Boy’s Toys’ event, which took place from 20 July until 2 August. The event centered around a dedicated ‘ManZone’, where an array of games and entertainment allowed men of all ages to recreate the joys of childhood.