Manchester Arndale co-owners M&G Real Estate and Intu have submitted plans for an £11m food court at the 1.4m sq ft shopping centre.
The 25,000 sq ft addition to the centre will occupy the ground floor and be branded Halle Place, offering a “contemporary casual dining destination”. The area of the mall earmarked for redevelopment is accessed directly off Market Street and currently occupied by JD and Scotts among others. Wilkinson trades above the square on the first floor.
Halle Place will encompass the ground floor with retail retained on the first floor. The move is the latest by a major shopping centre to offer a greater proportion of space to food and beverage operators, reflecting changes to dining out and shopping habits.
M&G said ahead of a planning application being submitted this week for change of use, a number of restaurant operators have already submitted conditional offers for the new units.
Each restaurant will offer “al fresco-style seating in the mall area, encircling a suspended public art centrepiece in the centre of a striking, open double-height atrium area.”
Construction of Halle Place is expected to complete in 2018, subject to planning, and will include 10 different restaurant units and a café in the middle of the atrium.
Kannika Mall, asset manager at M&G Real Estate, said: “Halle Place is a step-change for the food and beverage offer in Manchester city centre. The development will offer our shoppers a place where they can socialise and eat within an attractive and welcoming space. It will provide a new focal point for this part of the centre, increasing Manchester Arndale’s customer footfall and dwell time.
“The diversity and character of the brands we expect to bring to Halle Place will ensure shoppers benefit from a more exciting experience-led shopping destination, which in turn will drive stronger long-term income performance for the centre.”
In the past year the nearby Corn Exchange has become a premium casual dining centre, with a dozen restaurants and no retail, next door to Arndale, following redevelopment by developer Queensberry and owner Aviva.
Manchester Arndale is one of Europe’s largest inner city shopping centres. It is owned jointly by M&G Real Estate and Intu, and is managed by CBRE. The retained agents are JLL and Metis Real Estate Advisors.