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25 September 2008

Bristol’s new shopping centre opens 90% let

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by Lin Freestone

Bristol’s new shopping centre opens 90% let

The Bristol Alliance, a joint venture between Land Securities and Hammerson, is opening its £500m Cabot Circus Shopping Centre in Bristol today.

Following a development period spanning eight years, the centre offers one million square feet of retail and leisure space on a gateway site on the M32 approach to Bristol. Anchored by Harvey Nichols and Apple, there is provision for 140 shops in the centre, 75 of which are new to Bristol.

An estimated 100 retailers will be opening their stores on opening day, with many more opening in the following days and weeks.

The centre is opening more than 90% let and, despite the economic downturn, it is anticipated that the demand for better shopping facilities in Bristol will attract consumers, making all concerned in the development very confident about the future.

With more than 25 cafes and restaurants, Cabot Circus is hoping to establish itself as one of the top ten destination centres in the UK. It is hoping to achieve 24 million visitors every year.

It is estimated approximately 20,000 construction workers have worked on site during the development. Initial excavations on the site revealed stone boundary walls which mark out the line of the medieval plots, and several circular, stone-built structures used for tanning.

In partnership with SOLON South West Housing Association, Bristol Alliance will release 32 neighbouring apartments and 24 affordable homes. MCD Developments will complete 200 apartments in winter 2009, incorporating a 15-storey residential tower above the Harvey Nichols’ store.

Construction of 161,500 sq ft of new office space will start in early 2009, and Future Inns will open a 140-bed hotel in the centre in spring next year.

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