Department store group John Lewis has today confirmed plans to anchor the second phase of a retail development in Chelmsford.
Owned by property consultancy Aquila, the 300,000 sq ft development on Chelmsford’s Bond Street will house 20 retail units as well as river fronted restaurants and a cinema and it is hoped that the site will be opened in Autumn 2012.
Commenting on the news, Aquila Chairman Tony Chambers said: “Planning consent was granted for our previous scheme in September last year.
“We have since been working with John Lewis to redesign the scheme in order to accommodate their 119,000 sq ft “flexible format” department store and have now submitted a revised planning application.
“We are very excited by this development which is much needed to serve Chelmsford’s affluent and growing catchment.
“This scheme represents a fantastic opportunity for the growth of premium retailing in Chelmsford.
“We are now taking forward discussions with retailers and restaurateurs that have already expressed interest in coming to Bond Street and we and our agents, Douglas Stevens look forward to hearing from others who are attracted by our scheme”.
Aiming to boost local employment by creating approximately 350 new jobs, John Lewis has invested some £15 million in the development, which will be its third flexible format store following the opening of it’s Exeter branch later this year and one set to open in York in 2013.
John Lewis’ Managing Director Andy Street explained that the Chelmsford branch will be the retailer’s first shop in Essex, adding: “The Bond Street development in the city centre is a great fit for us and we look forward to bringing a flagship shop to Chelmsford.
“John Lewis Chelmsford will be our third flexible department store. We’re excited to see the roll out of this new format really starting to gather pace as we expand our reach to customers across the UK, providing them with more convenient access to our inspiring products and great service.”