Simon Mann, chief executive of developer Augur, said he is keen to expand in Liverpool after completing the purchase of Lewis’s and five acres next to the former department store in the city centre.
Speaking at the Revo retail property convention in Liverpool, Mann, who worked in the city 10 years ago developing Unity and 20 Chapel Street with Capital & Provident, told Place North West: “We would be keen to continue our work with Liverpool. Because of my experience here I know what works well, and given that we will see footfall increased in the Knowledge Quarter with Circus, we know Augur can add value to the city.”
Mann did not reveal any target sites, other than to say Augur’s strengths are in residential, retail, leisure, and offices.
Reaction to Circus, the new name for the development at Lewis’s, has been positive, according to Mann. He said: “We are talking today with a number of tenants who so far seem very keen on getting involved.”
Work on the landmark 400,000 sq ft site has already started, with £1.5m being spent on restoration works and a refreshed entrance to the office element, partly occupied by the NHS. Mann added that the planning application for the next phases of Circus is likely to be submitted to the council in the middle of next year. Colman Architects is advising.
The site was previously being redeveloped by Merepark but stalled during the recession.
Hitchcock Wright & Partners on offices and JLL for retail and leisure are agents on Circus.