Page 16



Festival Place looks to the future A year after taking ownership of the million-sq ft Basingstoke mall, AEW is starting to implement plans to upgrade and extend the centre Festival Place, the million-sq ft shopping and leisure destination in Basingstoke, has boosted its retail offer with the signing of sporty footwear brand Skechers, which will be taking a 2,800-sq ft unit. Additionally, Next has opened a new anchor store in the centre, doubling the size of its previous space with a 48,000 sq ft flagship. The new store joins other anchor stores Debenhams and Marks & Spencer, and showcases its fashion, childrenswear and home ranges, as well as its Lipsy sub-brand. And Metro Bank and Greggs have opened in newly refurbished units on St John’s Square, taking 14,000- and 2,400sq ft units respectively. The deals form part of landlord AEW’s extensive asset management and refurbishment plans to improve the retailer line-up and overall performance of the centre, a year after it took ownership. AEW plans significant improvements to the casual dining offer, with the introduction of additional F&B occupiers to Queen Anne’s Walk, currently the premium pitch in the centre. The enhanced F&B will complement the 10-screen Vue Cinema, and several of the existing F&B operators have also increased the size of their units and rebranded. St John’s Square, adjacent to the pedestrian route from the main line railway station, is currently undergoing enhancement works to its public realm, creating a spacious and welcoming environment for customers to enjoy. The refurbishment works at Festival Place also extend to the car parks, which are to undergo a significant renovation, improving traffic efficiency and access to the centre. Work is scheduled to begin in March 2017. Festival Place is North Hampshire’s prime retail and F&B destination, and was ranked in the top 20 list of best shopping centres in the UK by Trevor Wood Associates. The centre already draws an annual footfall of 20 million and is home to SHOPPING CENTRE MARCH 2017

SC March.indd 16

200 shops and restaurants, including SuperDry, Zara, Apple, River Island, New Look and H&M, a 10-screen Vue Cinema, and a strong mix of restaurants, including Las Iguanas, PizzaExpress, Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Nando’s, Giraffe, Pizza Hut and wagamama. Russell Jewell, head of private equity funds at AEW, said: “We’re fulfilling our promise to our customers to improve Festival Place, and, after just over a year since acquisition, substantial changes can be seen throughout. Next’s new anchor store looks great, and will act as a catalyst for investment in the centre, attracting further retail and F&B occupiers. We’re delighted to be adding Skechers to the mix of brands, and have several further exciting announcements in the pipeline.” Joint agents for Festival Place are Lunson Mitchenall and Cushman & Wakefield.

01/03/2017 09:04:13

Shopping Centre Magazine March 2017  
Shopping Centre Magazine March 2017