Intu under pressure to start Broadmarsh scheme
INTU Properties, owner of Nottingham's Broadmarsh Centre, is coming under strong pressure from the city council to commit to a start date for its refurbishment.
The company, which also owns the Victoria Centre, has phased its redevelopment between 2016 and 2019.
But it also wants a planning consent for an extension to the Victoria Shopping Centre – which the local authority is reluctant to approve until work begins on improving the Broadmarsh.
The council also believes the planning application needs updating and made more relevant now that Intu Properties owns both shopping centres.
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Both sides are putting pressure on the other.
The city council said it does not want to be in the position where work goes ahead on the 500,000 sq ft extension to Victoria Centre before a start is made on the Broadmarsh.
Its worst fears are that Intu does nothing with Broadmarsh, which is significantly empty and straddles the main approach between the railway station and the Old Market Square.
Intu is similarly getting impatient because it wants a consent which both bolsters its balance sheet and allows it to proceed when the economic climate is right.
On Wednesday, Intu chief operating officer Mike Butterworth said that it was going ahead with the refurbishment of Victoria Centre and couldn't wait any longer because its investment continued to need new, quality tenants to support the value.
Intu, formerly Capital Shopping Centres, submitted an application to extend Victoria Centre two years ago, since when it has not been taken forward.
The city council is anxious that the plans for the Victoria Centre extension are updated now the two centres are not in competition.
Graham Chapman, deputy leader of Nottingham City Council, says he wants to see both the extension of Victoria Centre and the refurbishment of Broadmarsh go ahead.
"We need Intu to do it almost simultaneously or in a way that they are going to do both," he said.
"Intu want to develop the existing scheme on Victoria Centre and we want reassurances that Broadmarsh will happen as well.
"We need a contractual agreement that Intu are going to do Broadmarsh and we will work with them on a complementary scheme for Victoria Centre reflecting their ownership of Broadmarsh. We would be happy to see things going on simultaneously.
"What we really want to see are some bulldozers on Broadmarsh. I want to see some action, people in yellow jackets building stuff."
Earlier this week Mr Butterworth told the Post: "We won't embark on the Victoria Centre extension until we have started the Broadmarsh redevelopment.
"But we need certainty around the city council's position on the extension of the Victoria Centre, subject to whatever conditions it might like on the land.
"We will not implement it until we have dealt with Broadmarsh."
He added: "We have said all along that we do not want a solution for the Broadmarsh Centre or Victoria Centre in isolation.
"We want a solution which is for Nottingham city centre and which embraces both of them and ideally everything in between so there is a comprehensive plan.
"What is not acceptable is that someone else cherry-picks what we are allowed to do.
"We need to be able to know we have the commitment of the council to be able to embrace the whole. We are not getting that."