Tesco search sparks Pioneer Point rumours

Tesco has instructed Lambert Smith Hampton to find a 600,000 sq ft warehouse in the North West, prompting speculation Pioneer Point in Ellesmere Point may be let at last.

The latest substantial requirement from Tesco comes days after it emerged the supermarket giant is also in talks with the Stobart Group over building a 750,000 sq ft shed at 3MG in Widnes.

Pioneer Point has been empty since completion in December 2005 and developer Rosemound faces a £1m a year liability under the empty rates penalty from April. The developer has already stated it would consider splitting the space to secure smaller lettings.

Other contenders for Tesco are few and far between: there is Rockpoint's 619,000 sq ft The Vault in Speke and some agents say Tesco may well opt for a design-and-build pre-let or pre-sale at Gazeley's 46-acre G-Park in North Liverpool, where there is planning permission for 700,000 sq ft.

Tesco already has bases in Middlewich, Crewe and Rochdale and the new space would be in addition to these facilities.

The product lines and supplier who will service the new 600,000 sq ft premises for Tesco has not been disclosed.

All parties declined to comment.

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