Rockspring Property Investment Managers announces that it has secured a pre-let to Morrisons Supermarkets plc at The Precinct shopping center in Blaydon, near Gateshead.
The development, which is scheduled to start on site in the summer of 2012, will comprise 74,000 ft² (approx. 6,800 m²) of retail space and will be built on the current site of the adjacent car park. Morrisons, the UK's fourth largest food retailer, will take the unit on a 25-year lease and it is anticipated that the store will be open for trade in early 2014.
Resolution to grant planning consent, has been secured for the scheme, which will also incorporate the relocation of the existing Youth Club, Day Center and Doctors Surgery, as well as an extensive upgrade to the existing shopping center. Further retailing accommodation totaling ca. 20,000 ft² will also be created.
Rockspring acquired The Precinct in 2010 on behalf of its UK Value Fund in joint venture with Manse LLP. The current property, which is fully let to a range of tenants, including the Co-op, Lloyds TSB, Boots, Heron, B&M and Savers, totals 96,500 ft² of accommodation and includes 40 retail units.
Richard Bains, Rockspring UK Value Fund Manager, said: "This letting to Morrisons further demonstrates Rockspring's ability to source and attract high quality tenants. This high profile letting will both complement and enhance the existing retail offering, and also help drive the regeneration of the whole town center."
"We now look forward to starting work on the extension, and conducting additional refurbishment, which we believe will be welcomed by shoppers, increasing footfall to the benefit of all other retailers."
Speaking on behalf of Morrisons, Andrew Cooper, Development Executive, said: "We operate at the heart of many communities and we are looking forward to helping to regenerate this site by bringing our range of fresh food, excellent service and great value to Blaydon. Our professional team is already working with Rockspring to deliver a new store that complements the wider scheme and the rest of the town center.
"We are confident that this development will be a real asset to the local community."
Source: FTI Consulting