Standard Life Investments will go ahead with proposed redevelopment in Newbury.
The £130m retail led Parkway scheme to be developed by Guy Shearer’s Shearer Property Group and Standard Life Investments will go ahead after the partners signed an unconditional development agreement for the scheme.
West Berkshire Council selected the partners three years ago for the scheme but following the credit crunch and the correction in development and land values, Standard Life was forced to renegotiate with the council to ensure the scheme remained viable in the changed economic situation.
Planning consent was granted in April 2006 and confirmation of the CPO was given in October 2007.
A statement today said: ‘Standard Life Investments and Shearer Property Group have been undertaking a thorough review of the project’s viability whilst at the same time advancing the pre-letting campaign and driving efficiencies to improve the project’s viability. Now satisfied on both fronts, Standard Life Investments has awarded the building contract to Costain Limited and a two year construction programme will commence in October 2008.’
Mike Hannigan, investment director at Standard Life Investments, said: ‘In committing to the project at this point in the cycle we have secured very competitive pricing in a number of areas and this will allow us to deliver the development as the market begins to return to a growth cycle in 2011.’
Guy Shearer, founder of Shearer Property Group, said: ‘In the current economic climate, this is an extraordinary achievement. Parkway will be one of very few schemes to open in 2010, by which time it will be much sought after by the retailers.’