Queensberry, the owner of Liverpool’s Metquarter, has signed a foodhall operator to take 16,000 sq ft within the redeveloped shopping centre, divided across 10 kitchens serving a variety of street food.
The occupier is yet to be named, but according to Stuart Harris, commercial director at Queensberry, while the concept takes its inspiration from the leaders in the ever-growing foodhall trend, Altrincham Market and Mackie Mayor, the operator is not the Nick Johnson-led team.
Harris told Place North West the move was all about “creating identity” for the Metquarter, particularly to differentiate the scheme from the nearby Liverpool One.
“We want a mix of brands, including local retailers, mixed in with higher end occupiers such as Hugo Boss. The foodhall is all about creating that variety, as well as flexibility of offer.”
The 130,000 sq ft Metquarter opened in 2006 but has struggled to compete with the much larger Liverpool One. The redevelopment will see 20,000 sq ft of restaurant space added, including new terraced areas, as Queensberry seeks to make it more of a leisure destination.
The project will bring restaurant brands to the Victoria Street end of Metquarter with luxury retail concentrated on the lower level and the front of the centre.
Queensberry received planning permission for the proposed changes last year and work started on the works in January, with Simons Group as main contractor.
Boutique cinema operator Everyman is the leisure anchor for the scheme and will be occupying the top floor, with the foodhall located directly below it.
Children’s department store Kids Cavern has also taken 15,000 sq ft.
Retailers already located at Metquarter include MAC, Hugo Boss, Jo Malone, Kurt Geiger and LK Bennett. Among Queensberry’s other projects is Manchester’s Corn Exchange.
K2 Architects is also advising Queensberry.