LandSec drops St John’s centre proposals

Michael Hunt

Land Securities announced that it will no longer pursue its development plans for the St John's shopping centre in Liverpool city centre.

Land Securities said the decision will enable the company to focus on "the delivery of more appropriate and immediate investment activity in its two properties located in the North end of the city centre".

Land Securities put the £100m development plans on hold in early 2009 in response to the deteriorating economic climate and challenging environment faced by UK retailers, saying it would not have supported the creation of additional 120,000 sq ft of retail space in Liverpool.

The new plans proposed that the existing St John's shopping centre would be moved to the upper floor of the centre's Williamson Square extension

James Larmuth, portfolio manager for Land Securities, said: "Over the last twelve months we have demonstrated the attraction of our centres by drawing new retailers including well known brands such as Aldi and international retailer Clas Ohlson and bringing Mothercare back to Liverpool city centre.

"With Liverpool unlikely to be able to support our original proposal we will begin discussions with the Liverpool City Council and our retailers, including the popular market, to look at what improvements we can make in both centres and how quickly we can deliver this investment.

"We recognise that St John's is a key element in Liverpool's retail line up, offering an essential and complementary offer to the multiple high street retailer and more high end offer found at Liverpool One and the Met Quarter. So it is important that we continue to invest in the St John's centre and the surrounding area."

Land Securities built the St John's centre in 1969 and the 180,000 sq ft Clayton Square, which is bounded by Church Street and Parker Street, was bought in 2005.

St John's provides 360,000 sq ft of retail space and is home to more than 100 retailers which Land Securities said attracted over 12 million in footfall each year.

Land Securities gained planning permission for the development of St John's in July 2008, after appointing architects Benoy to draw up the proposals.

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