£36m refurbishment scheduled for Victoria Shopping Centre
THE owners of the Victoria Centre are planning a £36m refurbishment.
Intu Properties, the former Capital Shopping Centres, will carry out the refurbishment in phases over two years.
"We are very keen to get on with it and it is our number one priority," said Mike Butterworth of Intu. "We will be aiming to get on site as quickly as we can."
Detailed plans are expected to be unveiled in the spring and are subject to approval by the Intu board.
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Intu said it cannot give a firm starting date at this stage.
But there is no promise of an early start date for refurbishing Broadmarsh Shopping Centre, which it bought from Westfield nearly 16 months ago.
The announcement came as Intu published its year end results to December 31 2012, which show it plans an investment of £260m in Nottingham between 2016 and 2019.
The figure includes £150m for refurbishing the Broadmarsh and the remaining £100m is part of the cost of a 500,000 sq ft extension to Victoria Centre.
"We won't embark on the Victoria Centre extension until we have started the Broadmarsh redevelopment," said Mr Butterworth."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.
"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."
Mr Butterworth added: "In the absence of that we have decided to turn our attention to the refurbishment of Victoria Centre and crack on with that.
"We are getting increasingly concerned about the deterioration of the Victoria Centre. It has fallen in value by about £25m during the course of 2012 while we have focused on Broadmarsh. We cannot let that carry on"
Intu said it was becoming increasingly concerned about its ability to attract quality retailers to the centre.
A trend by retailers for fewer stores also applied to fashion retailers as multichannel reinforced the need to reach customers whenever they wanted to shop.
By the middle of last year more than half of all fashion consumers had used a mobile device to make purchases.
Intu recorded a profit for the year of £159m against £34m a year ago. Earnings, excluding valuations and exceptional items, were flat at £138m against £139m last time.
Intu values Victoria Centre at £308m which brings in a rental income of £18.1m off a headline rent of £216.
It says that centre occupancy is running at 94 per cent.