Contractor lined up for Metquarter revamp

Queensberry Real Estate is understood to have chosen Simons Group to redevelop Liverpool’s Metquarter, which will include a boutique cinema and a restaurant-led leisure destination.

Place North West understands retail specialist Simons Group, headquartered in Lincoln with an office in London, has been picked over rival bidder Graham to deliver the overhaul of the shopping centre.

The development will be anchored by a new four-screen cinema by boutique chain Everyman, which was announced as a tenant in the summer. Everyman will take 18,000 sq ft of space in the building.

Queensberry is aiming to add a further 20,000 sq ft of restaurant and café space to the development as part of the plans, by combining existing empty units to provide larger spaces for restaurant operators. Five existing units will be combined into one to form a single restaurant unit, while in some cases two units will be linked to form smaller bar, restaurant, or café space.

This will bring to total amount of food and drink space in the development to 30,000 sq ft.

Two terraces will also be installed at the building’s upper level as part of the plans, which have been designed by K2 Architects. GL Hearn is the planning advisor, and a planning application was submitted for the redevelopment in the summer.

According to Queensberry, the project is set to complete by August 2018, and the client is hoping to attract “an eclectic mix of tenants from UK exclusive restaurants to high-end fashion brands”.

The 130,000 sq ft Metquarter was launched in 2006 as a high-end retail destination, with current tenants including Hugo Boss, LK Bennett, and Jo Malone.

However, it has struggled to compete with Liverpool ONE, which opened in 2008, and it was bought by Queensberry for £18m from Columbus UK Real Estate Fund in early 2016.

Queensberry declined to comment. Simons Group has been contacted for comment.

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