London & South East, Premier Construction

Major new retail scheme rises in Greenwich

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Retail Design Expo
Retail Design Expo

Charleston Riverside, Greenwich

A major new retail complex comprising a giant outlet for Sainsbury’s and another for Marks & Spencer, as well as a Costa Coffee unit, two smaller retail buildings and extensive landscape and highway works, is under construction on an 11 acre site at Gallions Road, Bugsby’s Way Retail Park in Charlton, Greenwich.

The contract to build the 143,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s and the 80,000 sq ft Marks and Spencer store shells is being carried out for developers LXB Properties by main contractors Ellmer Construction. Project Architects are RGP Architects. On completion, the retail complex will be handed over to landlords Aberdeen Asset Management.

Mr Harry Sadler of LXB Properties said:

“The contractors are doing extremely well and everything is going according to plan.

“The site was originally in seven different ownerships which we acquired and put together. These included a D.I.Y. store, two industrial units and a disused warehouse adjoining further industrial units which were predominantly vacant. We demolished all of these to create an 11 acre clear development site. The site is located immediately adjoining the Greenwich Shopping Park where tenants include Arcadia, Next, Boots and WH Smith.”

Charleston Riverside, Greenwich

The Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer stores are being constructed in a single terrace, with the Sainsbury’s store replacing their sustainable store which was built around nine years ago and is located further towards the Greenwich Peninsula. Although cutting-edge when it was built, the store’s performance was less sustainable than initially anticipated, and it was also not possible to extend the building to match the growing demand in the area.

The new Sainsbury’s will be three times the size of the original store, which it will vacate – and will also be the centre of its online operations in the area, providing a base for home deliveries. It’s hoped the increased size will allow the store to develop and sell more of its non-food items.

Sainsbury’s regional property development head Jamie Baker says the store will at least match the previous outlet’s eco-friendly credentials:

“We believe this is a great opportunity to improve the Sainsbury’s offer to our customers in Greenwich and are working with LXB to deliver what will be another flagship environmental store for us.”

Charleston Riverside, Greenwich

Nick Ratcliffe of project architects RGP told Premier Construction:

“The new Sainsbury’s will actually be far more sustainable and will perform to higher environmental standards – and part of that ethos is the use of a glulam timber frame with timber cladding incorporating large areas of glazing to the walls, and single ply membrane to the the 4 degree pitched roof, which will contain large PV arrays. It is also anticipated that Sainsbury’s will use a ground source heat pump.”

He added that the building will include a ‘goods online home delivery department’ and a mezzanine area.

The two-storey Marks and Spencer store incorporates 40,000 sq ft on each floor. The building is structured around a steel frame and features a combination of timber and high pressure laminate panels incorporating large areas of glazing to the external elevations, and a profiled steel roof.

“The return elevation of this building provides a new active frontage to Woolwich Road – and we are also constructing two further smaller retail buildings along Woolwich Road which is in line with the council’s strategy of improving the appearance of this road.” said Nick Ratcliffe.

The 1,500 sq ft standard Costa Coffee freestanding unit is of timber frame construction, with timber cladding and glazed external elevations and a flat roof.

Charleston Riverside, Greenwich

External works on the scheme includes the creation of a well defined and screened 695 space car park with a ‘living’ wall to some of the boundaries. There will also be tree planting and boundary treatments including hedges and planting. In addition, a new public realm is being created at the site’s southern boundary with Woolwich Road near the Costa Coffee unit, with raised planters, trees, seating and decorative paving. A total of 72 electric car recharging spaces, cycle parking spaces, pedestrian routes and connectivity with the Cycle Superhighway are also being provided across the development.

“The idea of this is to provide a more attractive environment where people can sit, meet and have a cup of coffee,” said Nick Ratcliffe, who added that the project has received a good report from the Greater London Authority’s Design Department who are pleased with the scheme.

Another element of the project involves extensive highway works to serve the new development, with these including the creation of one new road junction and major amendments to two existing junctions. In addition, a considerable amount of offsite highway works, together with the introduction of the Legible London Signage System around the site (substantial signage including maps showing local landmarks).

Construction commenced January 2014 and is due for handover in March 2015.

LXB Retail Properties Plc is a Jersey incorporated closed-ended real estate investment company, whose strategy is to invest in out-of-town and edge-of-town retail assets. The company has a strong and independent board of non-executive directors with significant relevant experience and is chaired by Phil Wrigley.

Ellmer Construction understand that any retailer needs to maintain the highest possible levels of cash flow throughout any extension, alteration, refurbishment or repair programme.

Demanding the least amount of disruption and inconvenience to customers during the project’s life cycle, the company has, over the years, established a reputation for working on shopping centres, flagship stores and boutique retail schemes in occupied premises.

Irrespective of the size of the task, Ellmer Construction always work with the same care and attention to detail.

The company’s construction team works alongside the client team at all times, with careful design and planning, utilising the latest advances in construction techniques and maintaining the highest possible health and safety standards, giving them the flexibility to adapt to any situation.

Retail has been a core part of RGP’s business for over forty years. The practice has successfully delivered in excess of five million square feet of retail space in that time – for developers, landlords, retailers and investment funds.

RGP has established relationships with a number of clients who specialise in this field, having been involved in numerous medium to large scale developments catering for many of the best known retail brands of today, whether in out of town parks, high streets or shopping centres.

From substantial new build development to small scale alterations and refurbishment, RGP has been involved in some form or other in over 75 percent of the out of town retail parks built to date in Britain.

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