Leeds retail centre boost

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The Independent Online

FTSE 100 property giant Hammerson is to reignite plans for a stalled £600m development in Leeds that could reinvigorate a neglected area to the north-east of the city.

The Eastgate retail scheme has been in the pipeline for eight years but Hammerson now has cash to invest in its retail portfolio having sold £518m of London offices to rival Brookfield last month.

This week Leeds City Council is set to purchase a key site – the Millgarth police HQ – which will free up land to build a car park for the scheme. The first phase of the development is expected to be completed by 2016. The project will focus on high-end and luxury retail first with a new John Lewis at one end and the existing Harvey Nichols department store at the other, close to the upmarket Victoria Quarter in the city.

Hammerson has listened to focus groups to track the demand for new retail in Leeds and hired property agent DTZ to lease the Eastgate scheme.

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