New multi-million plans for Highcross revealed
The owner of the Highcross shopping centre has revealed the details of a multi-million pound redevelopment to transform the unit currently occupied by House of Fraser.
Highcross’ owner, property company Hammerson, has submitted an application to turn the three-storey House of Fraser unit into nine smaller units – some of which will face outwards onto High Street.
The plan will be to have two bigger units and seven smaller ones that could include boutique shops, cafes, restaurants or bars. The changes will also see an extra 130 parking spaces added to help alleviate parking problems during busy periods.
Welcoming Hammerson’s plans for the Highcross, City mayor Sir Peter Soulsby said:
“Obviously it’s been good having House of Fraser there, but they haven’t found it an easy building to trade in, and Hammerson has put in some very exciting proposals. It is very exciting news, though of course we are sorry to lose House of Fraser.
“It is great to see Hammerson continue to invest in Highcross and in Leicester, and to open the centre out into the city reflects the changes that have happened that make it a very good retail environment.
“We are very, very pleased with what they are proposing. It will breathe new life into the High Street and continue the momentum of regeneration.”
It is thought that Zara Home are interested in taking over one of the larger new units – which would be the first Zara Home store in the East Midlands. JD Sports are also said to be interested in extending their current store next-door to House of Fraser into the vacated space.
Peter Cooper, director of UK shopping centres at Hammerson, said of the plans:
“The planning application we have submitted to Leicester City Council envisages a major reconfiguration of the former House of Fraser unit to enable the introduction of new and exciting brands to Highcross.
“The plans will provide the opportunity to upsize existing retailers to flagship standard stores and introduce new concepts to the city.
“Bringing previously under-utilised areas of the scheme into active retail use will enable us to complete the streetscape at the entrance to St Peter’s Square and improve the integration between the High Street and the scheme.
“These plans reflect the evolution of retail, which is a constant feature in successful city centres across the country and it will underpin Leicester as a top retail destination in the UK.”
What do you think of the new proposals or Highcross? Looking forward to a change or sad to see House of Fraser go? Let us know in the comments…