The number of retail projects on site has ballooned since the start of the year according to new figures released by industry tracker Glenigan
The news comes as a raft of shelved shopping centre proposals have also been resurrected, including Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson’s long-delayed Westfield scheme in Bradford and Chapman Taylor’s £500 million Northern Quarter development in Portsmouth on the site of the now-demolished Tricorn Centre.
Developer Hammerson says it has signed a new development agreement for its Sevenstone retail quarter in Sheffield, which was originally to be designed by a clutch of architects including Foreign Office Architects, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and ACME but was put on hold last June (AJ 21.06.10).
According to Glenigan, the number of shopping-led projects being started has more than doubled since February, increasing from 34 in that month to 74 in May. The value of projects beginning on site last month topped £190 million.
Economist James Abraham at Glenigan said: ‘After a dip over the winter, there has obviously been a recovery. This has been fuelled by supermarket investment, with many of the retail projects over the last three months having a supermarket element to them.’
Mark Anders, head of retail at AJ100 top ten outfit 3DReid, said: ‘We have definitely seen an increase in commercial work, driven strongly by retail.
‘This has been predominantly driven by fund managers and developers such as Land Securities taking a very proactive stance on refreshing existing shopping park assets.
He added:’However, we are also ramping up on more significant in-town retail and town centre schemes for developers and operators including Tesco and Primark, which is very encouraging, as the budget brands are often the most bullish, seeking bigger and better space coming out of recession. This always marks a positive move in market confidence and evidently debt is no longer the issue it once was for some.’