North West

Developing Eden Square

The Eden Square Development in Urmston, Manchester is a £43 million mixed use development comprising a mix of retail and residential units. The project – which was completed in two phases – was implemented by Ask Property Developments and Trafford Council as part of a plan to spearhead regeneration within the local area.

Phase One of Eden Square comprised construction of a 52,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s supermarket, a 22,000 sq ft library, 11,000 sq ft of club facilities for local members, 650 space car park, 40,000 sq ft of retail units and 64 one and two-bedroom apartments. Work reached completion on Phase One at the end of 2009.

Carillion Plc was the main contractor on Phase One of Eden Square, whilst global architectural practice Broadway Malyan provided all architectural services.

Phase Two comprised the construction of an additional 40,000 sq ft of retail space for retailers including Aldi, Iceland and Quality Save, along with 12 additional apartments. Work began on Phase Two in January 2012 and reached completion in October 2012.

Eric Wright Construction was the main contractor on Phase Two of the Eden Square Development, whilst Fuse Studios was the architect.

Now that Eden Square is complete, Ask Property Developments will retain the asset.

Leon Guyett, Development Director at Ask Property Developments, said:

“During work on Phase One of the project we quickly established that we had some lager retailers who we could not accommodate during the first phase of Eden Square. Unfortunately the initial design concept for Phase Two also couldn’t accommodate these retailers. So we went back to the drawing board and completely redesigned Phase Two.

“On Phase Two we had pre-let arrangements with Aldi, Iceland and Quality Save, so our main aim for the second phase was to ensure that we had these three retailers open in time for the Christmas 2012 period, which we achieved.

“This in turn has stimulated a flurry of activity on Phase One of the development, where new retailers have recently taken up units, and a number of additional units are currently under offer.

“At a time when construction of shopping centre schemes have pretty much ground to a halt, Eden Square is bucking the trend and both Ask and the local authority are delighted with the healthy interest being shown in the remaining units.

“Footfall on the site is huge. Prior to work taking place on Phase Two, the car park was attracting 18,000 cars per week, however now this has increased considerably to 24,000 which is a good 35% rise. We see this as a fantastic indication of the scheme’s potential.

“By the middle of 2013 we aim to have the development fully let. It is evident during our negotiations with potential tenants, that high quality flexible units are attractive to a wide range of retailers, which in turn drives retail trade and boosts confidence in high street shopping.”

The buildings on the development were constructed from a mix of steel frame and concrete.

Leon said:

“Eden Square has brought people back into the town centre. The development has a diverse range of retailers and gone are the days when customers would shop in just one place.

“We have adapted to the market. What was conceived eight to ten years ago is not what people want in today’s climate. Shoppers are very retail savvy with their shopping habits and the success of the retailers on Eden Square is a great example of this.

“Moving forward with Eden Square the aim is to get the site fully let and to carefully manage this valuable asset. We will continue to look at new ways to engage with the local community and intend to roll out our events programme which was started in 2010.

“As part of a regeneration scheme Eden Square ticks all the right boxes.”

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