Willmott Dixon has broken ground on the main construction phase of the £80m shopping and leisure scheme, being developed by Genr8 and Kajima in partnership with Rochdale Council.
The contractor took possession of the site at the end of February and has been mobilising and engaging sub-contractors, estimating that £21m will be spent with Greater Manchester companies over the course of the two-year build.
The 200,000 sq ft development will bring 24 shops, restaurants and a six-screen cinema to the town centre.
Next, M&S, JD Sports, Boots and River Island have already signed up to the scheme, alongside Reel Cinemas. The project is due to open the public in summer 2020.
The development is the final part of a £250m investment into Rochdale town centre.
Cllr Allen Brett, leader of Rochdale Council, said: “It’s great to see this flagship development now well under way. It will change the face of Rochdale town centre by bringing major high street names and creating a vibrant early evening economy. Rochdale Riverside is already having a positive impact, with new restaurants, cafes and bars, like the Wellington and the Medicine Tap, opening here because of the major investment developers are seeing in the town centre.
“Our next phase of regeneration, which will focus primarily on creating high quality housing in the town centre and further developing our fantastic heritage assets, is already under way, and we are looking forward to updating residents on this in the coming months.”
Mike Smith, partner at Gern8 Developments said: “We’re really pleased to see activity on-site. The scheme is over 60% let and with Willmott Dixon well underway with the construction programme we expect to be able to announce further lettings soon.”
Lambert Smith Hampton represented the council on the Rochdale Riverside project, providing development and investment advice. Cheetham & Mortimer and JLL are representing Genr8 and Kajima.