St Modwen names agents for Great Homer Street project

St Modwen Properties has appointed GVA Grimley and Hitchcock Wright & Partners as joint retail agents on its £150m Great Homer Street development north of Liverpool city centre.

Project Jennifer, named after the niece of a local church leader and regeneration champion, will be anchored by a 115,000 sq ft supermarket, to be built on stilts above car parking, along with 80,000 sq ft of non-food retail units, 480 homes, new health and civic facilities and a 300-stall outdoor market.

A widely tipped deal with Tesco, to create the largest supermarket in or around central Liverpool, is due to be completed in the coming weeks.

The 45-acre project has outline planning consent from Liverpool City Council but will require a Compulsory Purchase Order, to be made in November. A public inquiry into the CPO is likely to be called next spring before, pending approval by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, construction work can begin on site in spring 2009, with overall completion in summer 2011.

Chris Newsome, development manager for St Modwen, said: "We have been in open discussion with the 30 or so property owners there for the past six months. Most are prepared to talk to us and want to know what opportunities are there for them."

The CPO centres mainly on a 130,000 sq ft 1970s industrial estate to the rear of the site. Newsome said St Modwen is helping businesses to the stay in city where possible. The few retailers left in the existing, rather tired retail precinct fronting Great Homer Street have the chance to stay in the new scheme, which will feature units from 2,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft.

St Modwen has set aside around £20m for land assembly through negotiation and the CPO.

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