Belfast Office Properties, owners of the Ards Shopping Centre in Newtownards, N.I., has announced plans for major reconfiguration works within the centre led by two new anchor retail lettings.
This phase of investment will total circa £7 million, with the creation of a new 45,000 sq ft unit which will accommodate three anchor retail units and a new restaurant/cafe. Ards Shopping centre currently welcomes in excess of 100,000 visitors each week and will celebrate becoming 40 years-old next month.
The first confirmed anchor tenant to be announced is TK Maxx, taking a 23,000 sq ft site showcasing brand name and designer products. Whilst the second signing is a 10,000 sq ft unit for B&M Bargains, one of the UK’s leading variety retailers led by CEO Simon Arora and Chairman Sir Terry Leahy. Both stores are due to open in September.
Talks are in advanced stages with a leading café brand and another national anchor retailer to take the two remaining units. This announcement coincides with the exciting news that leading retailer JD Sports is debuting in Newtownards with a 4,400 sq ft store at the centre. In addition, Jeweller’s Warren James have taken a 1,190 sq ft store and Argento has doubled its presence to a 930 sq ft store.
Commenting on the news, Paul Devlin of Belfast Office Properties said: “The redevelopment and our significant investment is a direct response to the demand for Ards Shopping Centre from major UK brands. Ards continues to position itself as a leading retail destination in NI. We are excited to welcome TK Maxx, B&M Bargains and JD Sports who combined will enhance and grow our loyal customers’ shopping experience and deliver three great brands, further strengthening our retail line-up.”
Group Acquisitions Manager at JD Sports, Warren Thompson, added: “The position of the Ards Shopping Centre as both a popular local and regional destination was very appealing to us. This new unit will provide us with the space we need to showcase our wide range of leading brands and we look forward to being part of an exciting new expansion plan that will no doubt drive footfall to our store.”
Further new lettings at the centre are currently being finalised, with more retail news to be announced later this year.
Tony Kernan and Gary Martin of Lambert Smith Hampton, who manage the centre, acted on behalf of Ards Shopping Centre in these deals.