Dransfield completes first phase of Lime Square

Dransfield Properites will start the second phase of its £40m mixed-use development in Openshaw district centre in east Manchester in February.

A new 80,000 sq ft Morrisons store has opened marking the completion of the first phase of the scheme.

The new store has been taken on a 35 year leasehold deal with the Barnsley-based developers.

Dransfield said the store is the first new opening in the country to house a Peacocks fashion outlet, which has taken around 6,000 sq ft in store.

Work is due to start next year on the next phase of the Lime Square development which will deliver a further 76,550 sq ft of additional retail space and a health and leisure club.

The retail development is on an 11.9 acre site off Ashton Old Road with 670 car parking spaces.

Dransfield Properties has worked in partnership with Manchester City Council and urban regeneration company, New East Manchester, to deliver the project.

Mark Dransfield, managing director of Dransfield Properties, said: "We are looking forward to starting work on the next phase in the spring. We have already had a great deal of interest from retailers keen to have a presence in this part of Manchester.

"It is quite remarkable that we only took possession of the site 12 months ago and in that time the area has been transformed and delivered 320 new jobs at the Morrisons store."

NEM and Manchester City Council helped to deliver the scheme through compulsory purchase orders; the original site comprised 40 different land interests.

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, added: "It's great to see the first phase of the district centre complete. Openshaw has already benefited from major investment in housing, health and community facilities and we will continue to work towards delivering further improvements for this part of east Manchester, creating a better place for people to live."

The project has taken seven years from inception for it to reach the first phase stage. Demolition work was carried out by Windmill Demolition in April 2008. The Denton-based company demolished the former social security offices as well as a snooker club and bank, all fronting Ashton Old Road in Openshaw.

CBRE is the letting agent on the scheme.

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