Hot on the heels of their deal with Waitrose last year to secure a presence for the food retailer in Solihull, Opus Land has announced a second proposed store for the Midlands in Worcester.
The store, with a reported completed development value of c. £20 million, will replace the group of industrial units on the site of the former London Road Trinity Printing Works and will combine 50,000 sq ft of food and homeware retail with c. 310 car parking spaces. It will be pre-let to Waitrose on a twenty-year term and create some 200 jobs for local people.
Opus Land is keen to redevelop the site and is in discussions with existing tenants who are all either coming to the end of their lease, have plans to relocate in the future or have already done so elsewhere within the Worcester area.
Latest figures from a public consultation survey show that nearly 96% of respondents would welcome the new store.
Waitrose Director of Development, Nigel Keen, said:
“This is an exciting opportunity to achieve a long-held ambition to bring Waitrose to Worcester. We have explored a number of opportunities over the years and believe the plans brought forward by Opus Land represent the best scheme to deliver a quality food store for the city’s shoppers. It’s great that Worcester continues to attract investment and we hope that we can be part of its future.”
Richard Smith, Managing Director of Opus Land said:
“We are delighted to be involved in bringing the Waitrose brand to Worcester and to have found the perfect site for their new shop. It has long been an ambition of Waitrose to open in Worcester and those living in Worcester will be equally delighted to have a Waitrose presence in the City.”
Subject to planning, the 28,000 sq ft Solihull development with an end development value of c. £ 14 million, on which contracts were exchanged in August last year, will be managed by Opus Land, funded by Standard Life Investments and will also be leased to Waitrose on a twenty-year term.
Subject to comments received during the consultation, Opus aim to submit a planning application to Worcester City Council in the Spring. If successful, Opus plans to start work in autumn 2014 with the new Waitrose opening in late 2015.