Regeneration of Chester
Cheshire West and Chester Council has signed House of Fraser and a 4* Crowne Plaza to Chester Northgate – one of the most significant city-centre regeneration projects and the biggest retail-led development in the North West in the last decade.
Chester Northgate is a 500,000 sq ft redevelopment, located in the North West quarter of Chester city-centre, being spearheaded by Cheshire West and Chester Council.
House of Fraser, the UK and Ireland’s premium department store brand, has signed an agreement to anchor the development. The Group plans to open a new 100,000 sq ft store, offering customers an exceptional shopping environment as well as attracting desirable brands and fashion labels to the region.
The new store is being designed to a high specification and will accommodate a multichannel, modern experience-led retail offering, which will include the creation of a rooftop restaurant with views over Chester’s historic racecourse and the Welsh hills.
An affiliate of MCAP Global Finance Ltd. has also signed an agreement to open a new 167-bed 4* Crowne Plaza hotel, with a spa, and a 600-capacity conference facility, which will be the biggest in the city. MCAP Global Finance Ltd., a UK subsidiary of New York-based investment adviser Marathon Asset Management LP, through its affiliated companies, owns a substantial UK hotel real estate portfolio, including a number of IHG-branded properties amongst other recognised international brands.
The regeneration of the city centre will provide 70 stores, cafes and restaurants, as well as a new cultural centre, 70 homes, hotel & conference centre, six-screen Picturehouse cinema and the city’s largest car park. On completion, Chester Northgate will not only revitalise the city’s evening economy, it will also offer a full suite of experiences to locals and Chester’s millions of yearly visitors, drawing more visitors and shoppers into Chester. Construction of the development will commence in late 2018, with phased completions leading up to late 2021.
The council has already committed £100 million into the redevelopment of the city centre, including the creation of a new 850-seat theatre, which forms part of a new cultural centre and is set to open in the Spring, as well as the relocation of the bus station.
Councillor Samantha Dixon, Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “I am delighted that we have secured House of Fraser for a major new store in the crucial Chester Northgate development and at the same time, signed a deal with the owners of the existing Crowne Plaza to relocate them on site into a brand new four-star hotel, conference centre and spa, much improving the overall offer of the city.
“Being able to attract brands like House of Fraser, Picturehouse and Crowne Plaza is a measure of the appeal of Chester Northgate to other occupiers and investors and reinforces our ambition to return Chester to its rightful place as a leading shopping and leisure destination.
“We believe Chester Northgate to be one of the UK’s biggest emerging retail-led city centre developments. The project shows that Cheshire West and Chester Council is pioneering innovative new ways of driving growth and underlines our consistent commitment to steering the big projects that will transform Chester city centre.”
Frank Slevin, Executive Chairman of House of Fraser, said: “We are very pleased to announce that we have signed an agreement to open an anchor store at Chester Northgate. Chester is an exciting location for us, being at the centre of a thriving regional economy. With its modern design, Chester Northgate will rejuvenate Chester city centre attracting more visitors and creating a dynamic retail environment.
“The new store clearly cements our commitment to and vision for the future growth of House of Fraser. The growth of our store portfolio and the further development of House of Fraser’s multichannel offer provides solid foundations for the ongoing transformation of the business, ultimately driving a great customer experience. I look forward to the store opening in 2021.”