As consumers continue to channel additional spending into luxuries, retailers are keen to take up space in destinations which attract a high level of footfall. This has seen shopping centre owners invest heavily into growth and modernisation, with The Mall at Cribbs Causeway in Bristol the latest to benefit from a planned programme of updates.
Joint owners M&G Real Estate, JT Baylis and Intu Properties have submitted an outline planning application to South Gloucestershire Council which, if approved, will see the partnership invest a total of £316 million into the redevelopment of The Mall and its surrounding area.
Along with adding space for retail units in a large extension, the trio will construct a 120 bedroom hotel on the plot which is currently used as a car park and will also add a bus station in close proximity to the shopping centre as a means of improving public access.
M&G Real Estate’s director of development, Philip Vaughan, believes the large investment would garner significant returns in the future for both the centre owners and the wider community.
He says; “We firmly believe that the time is right to reshape The Mall to provide a greater focal point for the growing community in this part of northern Bristol.
“The scale of the investment proposed has significant and exciting implications, both in terms of building on what Cribbs Causeway offers now, and extending its economic contribution to South Gloucestershire and the South West.”
During the early stages of planning, The Mall’s owners compiled a report which forecasts the creation of more than 3,000 construction jobs during the building phase and a further 3,750 permanent positions in the retail and hospitality industries once the centre opens fully. Altogether, they expect the redevelopment to raise an additional £212 million per annum from visitors to the site.
Under the plans, the retail space within The Mall will increase significantly. Existing retail units will be revamped and a food court will be created for restaurants and cafes – the current format is unchanged from when The Mall first opened 17 years ago.
The proposed extension will also create space for a new anchor store unit to be constructed – at this point, it is unclear whether the owners would seek a new tenant or move one of the existing major retailers into the larger store.
Mr Vaughan concludes; “Over the past six months we have met with a range of local stakeholder groups, shoppers and residents to discuss our vision for Cribbs Causeway.
“We are delighted that the ideas we have presented have been received so positively by the people who will benefit from them; the same people who live, work and shop here now.”