Posts in Leisure

Retail World

New units improve offer at Retail World

August 23rd, 2019 Posted by All, Leisure, Retail

We have recently delivered five new retail units, totalling 12,223 sq.ft at the popular Retail World near Gateshead. The project contains a mix of retail and food and drink units with external seating areas, alterations to existing car parking and landscaping.

Our design reflects the area’s strong mining and manufacturing heritage. Powder-coated composite panels, resembling the rusted steel of the nearby Angel of the North. The intention is to create an aged industrial feel to contrast the extensive modern glazing and aluminium framed glazed shopfronts. A glazed canopy projects slightly from the units fronting the pedestrian link, providing both an elegant and unifying finish to the units and offers a partial shelter to pedestrians and users of the external seating area.

The new terrace is situated in a prominent location, directly on the site entrance, the design fits coherently within site as a whole. Its frontages establish a relationship with the units already within the retail park, giving a sense of enclosure and cohesiveness to the space generally. The distances within the retail park are quite vast in pedestrian terms and the new units create a ‘respite island’, reducing the perceived distances and adding more interest and variety for the public.

Josh Rowley, Associate Director says: “The withdrawal of one of the previous anchor tenants from the original line-up, gave us the opportunity to redesign the terrace, increasing the number of proposed units and enhance the park’s retail offer without impacting the existing tenants.”

Creating a pedestrian-friendly space where people would be happy to spend quality time, was an important factor in our design. Around the new terrace, a number of fixed benches are set between ‘rain gardens’ and trees in tree grills which together will partially screen and give a softer edge to the development. The rain gardens contain wetland grasses and perennials beds which will contribute towards surface water attenuation.

In addition to reconfiguring the existing car parking to maintain the overall number of parking spaces, a key pedestrian route was developed to improve links across the site. This pedestrian pathway is a bold and highly legible feature, lined by columnar Hornbeam trees. A row of lower flowering Dogwood trees provide a splash of colour and a more intimate scale, creating a physical barrier but allowing views through to the retail park beyond. Careful siting of this route will make it possible, in the future, to link through to the Minories site, part of a wider masterplan.

Concludes Josh Rowley: “Our client, Gateshead Retail World, Team Valley, handed the units over to the tenants in February and they are already home to recognisable names such as Card Factory, O2, Bells Fish & Chips and Costa, plus another planned fast food operator. The modern aesthetic of the terrace, plus the pedestrian friendly landscaping and the strong mix of retailers will add significantly to the park’s offer and improve dwell times.”

You can read more about this project in our portfolio.

Tamatanga, Highcross

Urban Edge celebrates double opening at Highcross shopping centre in Leicester

August 14th, 2019 Posted by All, Leisure

A new 18,000 sq.ft Treetop Adventure Golf, complementing the existing retail offer at Highcross with more family orientated activities, launched in June, with the independent Indian street food brand Tamatanga opening its doors in July.

Our design for the £10 million refurbishment has previously attracted such high street big hitters as Zara and JD Sports. Already existing tenants at the centre, Zara have moved into a 30,000 sq.ft flagship store and a full-line JD Sports have doubled the size of their space by taking an extended 20,000 sq.ft unit.

Darren Hodgson, Associate Director says: “With such challenging times on the UK high street, retailers are extremely exacting in the location and configuration of the units they rent. We were able to apply our expertise in retail developments to reconfigure an old-fashioned, department store-centric layout into new units suitable for modern retailers. Lower and upper ground floors are now the key retail areas, with other spaces attracting alternative tenants, such as indoor golf, or even being converted into car parking; all to make the whole visitor experience more attractive to customers.”

We developed and delivered a scheme which subdivided and reconfigured the three storeys that made up the former House of Fraser department store within the Highcross shopping centre. Our design created new retail, leisure and food and beverage offers for the centre, in addition to converting part of the upper retail levels into additional car parking, extending the existing roof top car park and providing an extra 130 spaces.

Darren concludes: “This is our first delivered scheme to date for Hammerson, and it gave the Highcross centre a renewed presence on Leicester’s high street and strengthened the developing human connectivity of the city centre. Our design re-imagined the internal layout to not only maximise the useable floorspace but create units that appealed to the changing needs of the hard-pressed high street retailer.”

You can read more about this project in our portfolio.

  • Treetop Adventure Golf, Highcross
    The Clubhouse serves thirsty adventure golfers
  • Treetop Adventure Golf, Highcross
    The immersive interiors transport you to the heart of the jungle
  • Tamatanga, Highcross
    The re-development works have revitalised this once inactive frontage
  • Tamatanga, Highcross
    Customers can expect a colourful and unique dining experience at Tamatanga
Costa, Heanor

Bespoke Costa completes at Heanor

July 30th, 2019 Posted by All, Leisure, Retail

In our first project delivered for client CBRE Global Investors, we were tasked with selecting a site and developing a bespoke design for a new c£600k Costa pod at the popular Heanor Retail Park in Derbyshire.

The team’s first task was to carefully select the site to give the 1,840 sq.ft unit prominence, but without negatively impacting the sight lines to the existing retail terrace. Having chosen a plot situated on the A6007, one of the main arterial routes through the centre of town, our design had to create an individual contemporary drive-to unit that fitted in with the feel of the Costa brand but was bespoke to the site.

We worked beyond the standard Costa design, with its mono-pitch roof and white render/timber façades, and created a modern minimalist design to give the unit its own identity. The quality of the materials used were a key aspect of the finished unit, with the external façade being a mixture of reconstituted stone cladding, cedar cladding and aluminium cladding in dark red to tie in with the Costa brand identity. The addition of an extended canopy along the front elevation offers a semi-covered area for the external seating.

Director, Tom McNamara said: “We think our Costa pod is a real asset to the park, serving the existing customers well and hopefully increasing dwell time. Feedback from the Costa staff is that the unit is trading better than expected, and the reviews on the coffee shop’s Facebook page have been very complimentary.”