Nearly four years after Genting Casino signed a 25-year lease on a 15,000 sq ft unit at Neptune Development's £30m Waterfront in Southport, the casino operator is to start fitting out.
Genting signed a prelet in July 2008 but held off from the expenditure of the fit-out due to the market downturn. Genting has paid rent to Neptune on the empty unit and operated from its existing site in the Southport in the meantime. The company plans to relocate to the new venue in early 2013.
Steve Parry, managing director of Neptune, said: "We are delighted with this news. We have been eagerly awaiting the news that Genting are ready to move to The Waterfront and we have already started to receive an increased level of enquiries about the remaining units."
Tapas restaurant Fino's signed for 3,300 sq ft in July 2011 at the Waterfront and started trading in September but there remains around 50,000 sq ft of vacant leisure and retail space at the scheme.
Parry said restaurant operators, a well-known coffee bar chain, a national health and fitness chain and other businesses are showing interest in moving to Southport.
Genting Group, parent of the Stanley casino brand, is the largest casino operator in the UK with more than 40 casinos, including Crockfords Club and Maxims Casino Club in London.
Parry added: "The premises which Genting are moving into was built to their particular requirements and with their stunning proposals for the fit-out, Southport will be home to one of the stylish new casinos in the country."
The new premises will include a terrace looking out over the Marine Lake and dedicated on-site parking.
The agents for the development are Graham Bowling of Fitton Estates and Peter Mowbray of Mowbray Gill.