UK supermarket group Morrisons is hoping to build a superstore at the Metz Way site in central Gloucester as part of a wider redevelopment, it was confirmed today.
Contracts have been exchanged between the owner of the derelict land at Metz Way Network Rail and real estate firm LXB Retail Properties, subject to planning permission, to build a new leisure and retail complex on the 18 acre site.
The Railway Triangle Corridor, as the development is being called, will cost around £34 million, with LXB spending £6.1 million on acquiring the land, with a 71,000 sq ft Morrisons supermarket anchoring the project.
Tim Walton, CEO of LXB Manager, said: “We are delighted to have concluded another major acquisition for LXB, and to announce a second significant pre let with Morrisons.
“This scheme will act as the catalyst for a major regeneration of a prominent site in central Gloucester. Metz Way is the largest vacant site in the city under one ownership and has been derelict for over 20 years.”
Alongside the new supermarket there will be around 140,000 sq ft of vacant space which LXB and Gloucester City Council hope will attract high tech manufacturing, engineering companies, job training facilities and other businesses with the site being subject to a bid by the new Local Enterprise Partnership to become an Enterprise Zone.
Planning permission is to be submitted by LXB today which if accepted will see construction started next year with the foodstore and enabling works expected to be completed by 2013.
Walton continued: “The high cost required to access, service and decontaminate the site, has previously meant development was not viable, however, the foodstore anchor tenant will enable the site to be opened up without recourse to any public funds and, along with the employment space, we expect it will create up to 1,000 jobs in an area that suffers from high unemployment.”