Only a handful of the 175 units that make up the 1.6m sq ft of retail and leisure space at Liverpool One now remain unlet, Grosvenor said as it marked the opening of access to all areas of the £1bn scheme.
The Princess Royal was due to unveil the five-acre Chavasse Park in the heart of the 43-acre scheme at midday today, despite awful weather conditions threatening to spoil the planned day-long party. Also opening will be Peter's Lane, College Lane, the upmarket Keys Court arcade off Church Street, the east side of Paradise Street, the restaurant terrace over South John Street and Odeon cinema.
Two dozen stores and restaurants will open today with another 30 following suit before the New Year. Phase two openings will include local independent clothes store Drome, Foot Asylum and Manchester-based Thai restaurant Chaophraya, along with Onitsuka Tiger, Fat Face, Café Sport England, Leia, Waterstone's and a 45,000 sq ft Tesco on Hanover Street.
Grosvenor said footfall figures released by the city council showed an increase of 24% in the city centre since the first phase of Liverpool One opened on May 29.
Neil Barber, head of retail leasing at Grosvenor, said: "Phase two, which adds the restaurant and leisure offer, park and a number of independent brands in Peter's Lane, further increases the appeal of Liverpool ONE and reinforces its role as a new frame of reference for the industry."
The remaining residential and Hilton hotel elements around the fringe of the development area will open in early 2009.
Liverpool One's agents are Cushman & Wakefield, Strutt & Parker, and Tushingham Moore. DTZ advises the Grosvenor Liverpool Fund.