Green light for

ING Real Estate and Starwood Capital have been awarded planning consent for a £100m retail scheme in Leeds. Leeds City Council approved plans for the redevelopment of the 19-storey West Riding House, the city’s tallest building.

ING and Starwood paid Hammerson £58m for the building back in January 2003. The deal was the first investment made by the £400m joint venture between the two companies that was established in April 2002.

The 50,000 sq ft retail element of West Riding House is currently anchored by a 30,000 sq ft Next store. The developers plan to add a further 50,000 sq ft over four retail units of up to 20,000 sq ft.

The developers have already begun buying up the smaller units. Other existing retail tenants include Moss Bros, Pret A Manger and Ainsleys. The office element, which is let to tenants including Scottish Widows and the Secretary of State for the Environment, will be retained. Work is expected to begin in September, and the stores are expected to be open by December 2005.

Simon Lyons & Co is the letting agent on the scheme. Jema Fund Management is the development manager.
Source: Freeman News/ Property Week

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