Cheshire West & Chester Council is looking to appoint an investment agent to look at forward sale and funding options available for the £300m Northgate development.
Northgate is a 400,000 sq ft retail-led mixed use scheme incorporating residential, hotel, market, offices and cinema, planned for Chester city centre.
According to a tender notice from CWAC, “the Council will require an investment agent to provide initial strategic advice on the options for funding/sale within eight weeks of appointment. The successful bidder will then act as formal agent for the sale/funding of the scheme.”
The project has spent more than a decade as a priority item on the development agenda in Chester without ever starting on site.
The latest schedule from CWAC estimated a spring 2016 planning application submission.
According to the tender notice, phased completion is targeted between 2018 and 2021.
The scheme has an estimated rental value of £15m.
Developer Rivington Land was appointed by the council in July 2014 to steer the Northgate scheme through the planning and development process. Architect ACME and surveyor JLL advise Rivington.
Speaking to Place North West, David Lewis, chief executive of Rivington, said that the investment advisor would be appointed to look at all funding options, and that there had always been an intention to secure forward funding in order to deliver Northgate.
A joint statement from Cheshire West & Chester Council and Rivington said that “no decision to sell has been made at this stage.”
Cllr Brian Clarke, cabinet member for economic development and infrastructure, said: “We are seeking to appoint a specialist advisor to join the Northgate development team to advise the council on the best investment/funding strategy to take at the appropriate development stage.
“This appointment is being undertaken via the OJEU process and the selected advisor will work alongside the council and its development manager, Rivington Land.”