Award-winning toy store, The Entertainer, and fast food restaurant, Burger King, are the latest brands to join the line-up at St James Dover adding to the 10 shops and restaurants at the retail and leisure development.
Some 90 per cent, by floor area, of the development is let or in solicitors’ hands, with a further three lettings in negotiations. The St James Dover development is owned by Legal & General Investment Management, Real Assets (LGIM RA), which has invested £53.25 million into the development that opened in March.
The development’s anchor stores, Next and M&S Foodhall, accompany leading national brands including Trespass, Superdrug, The Food Warehouse by Iceland, Shoezone, Card Factory, Nando’s and Costa Coffee. Alongside the retail and restaurant offerings, the development also features a six-screen Cineworld, a 108-bed Travelodge and 24-hours-a-day Anytime Fitness plus parking for 445 cars.
The Entertainer is family-owned and the fastest growing multichannel toy retailer in the UK. It has taken a 2,960 sq ft unit at the 157,000 sq ft scheme. Additionally, Burger King has signed up for a prime location at the entrance to the scheme in a 2,580 sq ft unit on the ground floor of the Travelodge hotel building.
The Entertainer’s founder and chairman Gary Grant, said: “Our corporate values are highly community driven and St James Dover, in the heart of the town, is the ideal location to establish ourselves in this part of Kent. We are pleased to be opening in Dover and aim to provide more than a physical presence. We are passionate about creating a destination for play for all local families, where they can enjoy exploring their imagination with the latest toys and trends.”
Just a few minutes walk from the town’s main shopping areas of Cannon Street and Biggin Street, St James Dover occupies the regenerated site of a 12-storey tower block that had remained empty for some 20 years. As a newly-built scheme, the development features modern shop units, designed to meet today’s retail needs. As a result, LGIM RA has attracted several new brands into the town for the first time.
Echoing LGIM RA’s vision that St James Dover should be a catalyst for regeneration of the town centre, Dover District Council’s Springboard Footfall figures showed a boost in shoppers of almost 60% across the town, excluding St James Dover. The year-to-date data covers the period from the start of 2018 when footfall counting began.
Mark Russell, senior fund manager at LGIM RA, said: “We are delighted to welcome both The Entertainer and Burger King as integral components to the attractive occupier mix at St James Dover. We are confident that this new development will entice those who would previously have bypassed the town centre to visit.”
The St James Dover development is located on the A20, the main road leading to the Port of Dover. The port saw some 11.7 million passengers, including 200,000 cruise passengers, travel through in 2017. In addition to being the busiest passenger ferry port in the UK, and the second busiest cruise terminal in the UK, over 650,000 tourists visit the town each year, especially to see the world-famous White Cliffs and Dover Castle. The town has a residential catchment of 257,000 and a potential spend of £1.2 billion. Dover District Council has ambitious growth targets with new housing at its core.
Joint leasing agents for St James Dover are JLL and HRH. Additionally, JLL is retail property manager, handling day-to-day operational matters of the site.