Centros announced that “Subject to contract, Debenhams will take a 105,000 sq ft (9,750 sq m) three-level store in the scheme and commit to a 25-year lease. It will be one of the largest Debenhams stores in the North West – big enough to stock its full range offashion and household goods.
David Lewis, associate director of Centros Miller, comments: “We believe that Lancaster is the largest city in the country that does not currently have a department store and we’ve known that Debenhams has been trying to secure space there for many years. The store will anchor our development and will be the essential catalyst needed to bring about a major step change in the attraction the city centre offers for both shoppers and other retailers.
“Far too many of Lancaster’s shoppers have already told us that they currently travel to Preston, Manchester and even Carlisle to fulfil their shopping needs. We need to give them a very good reason to spend their money in Lancaster and thereby reduce the environmental impact of making so many long distance shopping trips. Debenhams will help to achieve that and will also enable Lancaster to compete with the major shopping developments that are in the pipeline for Preston and other Lancashire towns.”
Centros Miller’s mixed-use scheme for the Canal Corridor North (Castle View) site will extend the city centre’s prime shopping from Penny Street through St Nicholas Arcades Shopping Centre. As well as providing up to 350,000 sq ft (32,515 sq m) of new shopping space, the fully pedestrianised development will enhance the existing cultural facilities on the site (which includes two theatres) with caf�s and restaurants. There will also be parking for 800 cars, over 100 town houses and apartments, offices, a new three-star hotel, and small workshops for local businesses.
Phil Monaghan, head of property at Debenhams, says: “We are delighted to be coming to Lancaster after searching for many years to find a suitable site. We look forward to working with Centros Miller and to bringing this exciting city centre development to fruition.”
Centros Miller expects to submit a detailed planning application early in 2007 and has targeted completion of the development for late 2010 or early 2011.