UK Commercial Property Trust Limited has submitted a planning application to Shropshire Council for the redevelopment of its three shopping centers in Shrewsbury (Pride Hill, Darwin and Riverside) into a single, combined center called New Riverside.
The £150 million (180.8 mln.) regeneration project will include the demolition of the existing Riverside centre and the construction of a new 225,000 ft² (20,830 m²) center that will be integrated with the Darwin and Pride Hall centers and provide stronger links to the town centre. The proposals consist of a 95,000 ft² full line department store, 50 new shops, 10 restaurants, offices and car parking; combined, the enlarged centre will extend overall to 480,000 ft² and continue to represent the principal retail focus for the town.
Subject to planning consent being achieved and the signing of pre-lets with tenants, the redevelopment is scheduled for completion in 2016. Once the planning consent has been secured, and depending on prevailing market conditions and portfolio strategy, the Board of UKCPT will assess all options for the progression of the scheme to best create shareholder value.
UKCPT believes that Shrewsbury has significant potential as a retail destination, as a sub-regional county town with a large, affluent catchment area, where no new retail space has been built in the past 20 years. The planning application follows a period of consultation with the Council as well as a public exhibition, during which the plans were extremely well received.
Christopher Hill, Chairman of UKCPT, commented: "The New Riverside project in Shrewsbury is a significant project for UKCPT, and a transformational scheme for the town. In conjunction with its development manager, Shearer Property Group, UKCPT has a wealth of expertise and experience in active asset management of retail property. We have been able to draw on those skills in assembling this site and creating an exciting, deliverable scheme with the potential to achieve significant value on behalf of our shareholders."