Hammerson announces that planning consent has been granted by Leicester County Council to complete a major reconfiguration of the former House of Fraser outlet unit at Highcross shopping centre, allowing for larger stores and new brands to take space. Three units have already been let, including upsizings from Zara and JD Sports and one new name for the city, Treetop Adventure Golf.
The reconfiguration of the old House of Fraser outlet store marks a significant investment in the centre and in Leicester, and will allow for the introduction of larger, experiential flagship stores as well as new and exciting brands. Works are expected to complete in the second half of 2018. The plans will transform and improve a significant part of Highcross, in addition to rejuvenating Shires Lane and the adjacent high street.
The former outlet store is spread over three floors, totalling approximately 100,000 sq ft. As part of the reconfiguration the space will be divided into eight new individual units of varying floorspace to accommodate a range of operators including retail, food & beverage and leisure, significantly enhancing the tenant mix at the centre.
International fashion brand, Zara, will anchor the refurbished St Peter’s Square entrance, doubling the size of its existing unit to create a 3,300 sq m flagship store. The new, enlarged store will enable the global fashion brand to offer its full range of womenswear, menswear, shoes and accessories.
JD Sports will also significantly increase its store footprint at Highcross, expanding into a 1,900 sq m unit. The new store will enable the leading retailer of branded and own brand sports and fashionwear to capitalise fully on the growing popularity of athleisure and casual wear.
Anchoring the leisure offer at Highcross, Treetop Adventure Golf will make its Leicester debut, enhancing the customer experience and complementing the mix of retail and dining at the centre. The indoor mini golf operator has signed up to take a 1,700 sq m unit, marking the group’s second shopping centre location. With the opening of Treetop Adventure Golf, visitors of all ages will be able to enjoy mini golf adventures and relax in The Clubhouse bar and cafe.
Peter Cooper, Director UK Shopping Centres at Hammerson, said, “The planning approval marks a major milestone in the enhancement of Highcross, allowing us to put in place new flagships and concepts and create a fresh and relevant tenant mix. The plans also provide an opportunity to improve the entrance at St Peter’s Square, enhancing its link to the High Street in addition to breathing new life into the surrounding shopping streets.
“We are delighted to confirm upsized Zara and JD Sports stores, testament to the strength of the centre as the leading regional retail destination. The news reflects a wider trend within the retail industry in which we are seeing international brands prioritise large, flagship stores in key regional destinations. And with the addition of Treetop Adventure Golf, Highcross will soon offer a unique leisure experience to complement its leading mix of retail.
“Leicester City Council has been invaluable in supporting this project, which will enable Leicester to position itself as one of the best regional retail destinations in the UK and deliver a unique shopping environment where more happens.”