Redevelopment of Newcastle’s Monument Mall is now underway
Work started yesterday (16 April) on Hammerson’s much-anticipated redevelopment of the Monument Mall shopping centre in Newcastle, which will see the mall’s circulation spaces infilled and new full-depth, street-facing shop and restaurant units created in their place.
The recent departure of the last street-facing tenants had suggested that work would begin soon, though there had been no specific announcement of a start date. However, the main Northumberland Street entrance has now been closed and fenced off – just as the fencing around the nearby BHS is about to come down ahead of its opening this Thursday.
Meanwhile, notices on the remaining Blackett Street doors of Monument Mall advise customers that “starting on Monday 16 April 2012, a twelve month building programme will commence to re-shape the internal layout of Monument Mall Shopping Centre.”
Interestingly, the notices suggest that there is no imminent plan for TK Maxx to vacate its basement premises, even though the plans show that the space will need to be reconfigured as part of the scheme. The signs advise customers that “as a result of these building works, the Northumberland Street entrance to the Shopping Centre will no longer be available. If you need to visit TK Maxx, please use either the Blackett Street entrance or the Monument Metro Station entrance to the Shopping Centre [to] gain access to the store.”
With work now happening on site, there will be growing interest in the tenants that Hammerson has lined up for the scheme. As far as I’m aware, no retail or leisure names have been confirmed as yet, though sources have consistently claimed that between 50% and 100% of the 12,900 sqm (139,000 sq ft) of available space would be let by the time work commenced, with high-end fashion retailers among the likely arrivals.
It’s worth reminding ourselves that this represents an increase of more than 35% in the Mall’s lettable area – which is currently just 9,500 sqm (102,000 sq ft) – all by reworking the space within the existing building envelope. Certainly, it gives us an idea of quite how much space within the scheme is currently wasted, and explains Hammerson’s keenness to lose the unlettable landlord mall and atria void areas.
Whoever is lined up to take the space, Hammerson’s pedigree – which includes investments in top UK shopping centres like Birmingham’s Bullring and Bristol’s Cabot Circus – suggests that the revamped Monument Mall will be an immeasurably better version of its former neglected self.