A property website says a formal marketing campaign is being considered to find an investment partner to back Chester ’s £300m Northgate Development scheme.
Place North West bumped into the project team from Cheshire West and Chester Council (CWaC) and consultants Rivington Land at the Revo exhibition in Liverpool this week.
The property website learned that a joint venture investment partner was a possibility and there had been interest from institutional investors.
But a formal marketing campaign to find an investment partner was being considered for spring 2018 indicating there is no likelihood of a deal being struck with a financial backer any time soon.
However, the scheme continues to generate interest with three major retailers and three more restaurants expected to sign up to the scheme in the near future.
Northgate aspires to put Chester back on the map as one of the UK’s leading shopping destinations by delivering 500,000 sq ft of new shops, restaurant and leisure facilities.
The council-backed scheme, which has planning consent but requires financial investment to get off the ground, will include:
■ House of Fraser department store to anchor a project featuring large and small shops
■ New market hall
■ Picturehouse six-screen cinema
■ Replacement Crowne Plaza hotel with conference facilities
■ Parking for around 800 cars
Over the summer the council applied to move Chester market and issued an order to buy up 70 properties in the regeneration area using a Compulsory Purchase Order.
In both cases there may be objections leading to a public inquiry where a planning inspector would hear the case for the council and objectors with the ultimate decision resting with the Secretary of State.
The Northgate project team anticipates the public inquiry is likely to take place in early 2018.
Graham Pink, CWaC’s director of commissioning places and commercial management, told Place North West: “We welcome the inquiry and look forward to its conclusion when the date is officially given.”