Connswater has signed a deal with global coffee house chain Starbucks that will see the company open its first ever drive-through store in Northern Ireland, the retail scheme’s owners Killultagh Estates announced today.
Starbucks has confirmed that it will open a 3,300 sq. ft. store in the east Belfast retail park before the end of this year, with construction expected to begin in early October, subject to planning permission being granted.
The news comes as Killultagh confirmed that it intends to invest £200,000 in a transformational landscaping project which will result in significant improvements being made to the connectivity from the Retail Park to the Shopping Centre in conjunction with the Belfast City Council’s Greenway Project.
The landscaping project, which is also subject to planning approval, is due to be completed by January 2017. Its completion will coincide with the opening of grocery retailer Lidl’s multi-million pound expansion at its store in Connswater, which is also scheduled to open in late January.
Laura McCarthy, asset manager for Killultagh, said: “The decision by Starbucks to choose Connswater as its first location in Northern Ireland for a drive-through store demonstrates the confidence that retailers have in the scheme and its strategic location in east Belfast. We are also looking forward to the opening of Lidl’s new 23,000 sq. ft. expanded store early in the New Year.
“With such positive activity taking place we believe that now is the right time to invest in the wider project and to connect our Centre to the work that Belfast City Council is doing as part of the Connswater Community Greenway, with a new urban walk way and pedestrian crossing. We are always striving to improve the shopping experience for our customers and this project will play an important role in that.”
Ryan Kee, director of retail agency at Lambert Smith Hampton who acted on behalf of the landlord on the Starbucks transaction, said: “Today’s announcement will no doubt be welcomed by Connswater customers and the surrounding catchment. It is an exciting development for the scheme and we anticipate that this activity will act as a catalyst to attract other multinationals to consider Connswater and the potential that it represents.
“We are already in advanced negotiations with a number of well-known retailers for positions in the scheme and we look forward to further deal announcements in the coming months.”