Great Homer Street project ‘not under threat’
St Modwen Properties said plans for an 115,000 sq ft superstore at its £150m Great Homer Street regeneration project are not in jeopardy despite losing its anchor tenant.
The property developer has ended talks with Tesco following four years of negotiations which failed to result in the supermarket giant committing to the Project Jennifer scheme.
Project Jennifer is situated on a site between Great Homer Street and Scotland Road in Liverpool and the proposed plans would make it the largest superstore in the city.
St Modwen is now in advanced discussions with another leading supermarket group for the prime site.
Michelle Taylor, regional director for St Modwen, said: "Although we have opened talks with an alternative operator this important £150m scheme is not under threat.
"The viability of this scheme has been demonstrated a number of supermarket chains showing interest in anchoring the Great Homer Street superstore and we are confident of meeting the original terms required to enable us to progress with this development."
Tesco owns three acres of the land and said it remained committed to the regeneration project.
Taylor added: "Tesco has secured a small percentage of the land required for the 45 acre scheme, but this is unlikely to have any bearing on our ability to deliver the comprehensive regeneration that we have promised to the people of north Liverpool."
A spokesman for Liverpool City Council said: "We welcome the news that St Modwen are in positive negotiations with a leading retailer with a view to them becoming the preferred anchor tenant for Project Jennifer.
"It safeguards this major scheme which will revitalise the Great Homer Street area of the city. The anchor tenant will be at the heart of a new retail centre for the area incorporating other stores, new community facilities including a library, a new home for the market and new public realm.
"Regular public meetings will recommence shortly, ensuring that local people benefit from the new job opportunities it will bring and the council will be working with the developer to make sure that happens."
The proposed plans for a food store will form the heart of a new district centre for north Liverpool, with a further 80,000 sq ft of other retail proposed. In addition to this, there will be a new library, market hall, leisure and community space and substantial improvements to the public realm and environment.
John Barker of Hitchcock Wright & Partners, joint acting agents for St Modwen, commented: "The proposed development would be attractive to a major supermarket group or other large retail offer."
GVA Grimley are the other agents being instructed by St Modwen.