A redevelopment of Vancouver shopping centre in Lynn has begun, with hoardings now up and work set to start in two weeks’ time.
West Norfolk Council has agreed a 250-year lease on the empty premises, formerly Beales department store, and has cleared the way for the delivery of a 20,000 square foot anchor store for H&M, together with four other retail unit.
The local authority sealed a deal between LAP and Oaktree Capital, a US investment management firm, for work to start on the site, which has stood empty since it closed last year.
West Norfolk Council’s portfolio holder for corporate projects and assets, Alistair Beales, said: “We are excited to be supporting the development of the Vancouver Quarter.
“It will be the catalyst to regenerate this part of the town centre building on our investments in the bus station, car parks and heritage assets.
“An improved shopping offer will make a real difference to King’s Lynn in terms of its vibrancy and offering visitors and local residents even more reasons to visit regularly.”
Work should begin in the next couple of weeks, although local contractor Chalcroft have already started setting up the compound and undertaking preparatory work, including putting up hoardings around the site.
Letting agent GCW was appointed on the Vancouver shopping centre following its purchase by a joint venture between LAP and Oaktree Capital.
GCW’s David Gooch said: “This deal has come about thanks to a dynamic public and private sector partnership and confirms what can be achieved through innovative collaboration. The redevelopment will greatly enhance Vancouver Quarter’s tenant line up and its appeal as a shopping destination.”
A West Norfolk Council spokesperson said: “The 385,000 square foot centre, anchored by Sainsbury’s, Wilko and TK Maxx, attracts a footfall of 165,000 visitors a week and following the closure of Beales, the owner identified potential to further boost the open-air scheme’s appeal to modern retailers. The development will not only attract new retailers, but improve the general environment along New Conduit Square.”