St Modwen has spent £8m buying four small industrial estates in Liverpool as the land assembly strategy for its Great Homer Street scheme gathers pace.
The four industrial estates, which total almost 220,000 sq ft, were acquired from Space Northwest, the joint venture between Warner Estates and the North West Development Agency. They are Larch Lea in Anfield, Brasenose Road in Bootle, Clegg Street in Everton and Gillmoss on the East Lancs Road.
The acquisitions include 100,000 sq ft of vacant space and will enable the relocation of industrial occupiers that are likely to be displaced by the new district centre at Great Homer Street.
The £150m project will deliver a 115,000 sq ft food store, tipped to be Tesco, 80,000 sq ft of non-food retail, 480 new homes and facilities for the community, including a health centre, a library and a new home for the popular Paddy's market.
Chris Newsome, development manager at St Modwen, said: "Whilst it is clearly great news that our proposals for Great Homer Street will create 740 much-needed new jobs, it is important that the current industrial occupiers are given every opportunity to relocate nearby and that those existing jobs are thereby safeguarded for North Liverpool."
He added: "This acquisition was justified on a stand alone basis but it is a bonus that it will give us some great opportunities to work with industrial occupiers from Great Homer Street and match their relocation needs with the refurbished business space that we will shortly be able to offer."
Outline planning permission for the Great Homer Street proposals was confirmed by Government Office for the North West in May 2007.
A Compulsory Purchase Order is likely to be made in November, followed by a public inquiry next spring.