A redevelopment of the Vancouver Shopping Centre in King’s Lynn is due to start in the next two weeks thanks to an innovative deal being sealed between LAP and Oaktree Capital and the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk.
The local authority’s progressive partnership approach to the regeneration of King’s Lynn town centre has seen it agree a 250-year renegotiated lease on the empty premises, formerly Beales Department Store. In releasing the space for redevelopment, the council has cleared the way for the delivery of a 20,000 sq ft anchor store for H&M, together with four other retail units.
Letting agent GCW was appointed on the Vancouver Quarter shopping Centre following its purchase by a joint venture between LAP and US investment management firm Oaktree Capital. The 385,000 sq ft centre, anchored by Sainsbury’s, Wilko and TK Maxx, already 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 redevelopment, which is due to commence in two weeks, will not only attract new retailers, but improve the general environment and streetscape along New Conduit Street. It will also form a central piece in the regeneration of King’s Lynn town centre and the council’s place-making agenda.
GCW’s David Gooch said: “This deal has come about thanks to a dynamic public/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.”
Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk 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.