Since KPI, the joint venture between St Modwen Properties PLC and Salhia Real Estate Company K.S.C, acquired the Kingsmead and Queensmead sections of the town centre in 1998, KPI and Rushmoor have worked tirelessly to achieve their combined objective of providing Farnborough with a centre for the 21st Century.
The total size of the project is 353,000 sq. ft., which consists of retail and residential areas. Two early phases – Queensgate and the Mead – have already been completed to provide relocation space for traders dislodged by the wider proposals. These two advanced schemes have already given a hint as to how the centre of Farnborough will be transformed by this major development.
Mr Abdulaziz Ghazi Al-Nafisi- Investment Group Head of Salhia Real Estate Company, commented: “We are very excited with the developments on the ground in Farnborough. Getting to this stage took a lot of effort from all parties involved and we look forward to reshaping the face of the town’s centre.”
The redevelopment of Farnborough town centre began two weeks ago with the start of a demolition programme to remove 1960s shops and flats. More than 100,000 sq ft of outdated retail and residential accommodation is being demolished during the four-month contract period which enables Key Property Investments (KPI) to begin the transformation of the town centre.
Following the demolition which Erith of Kent is undertaking, the next action will be the diversion of gas and water pipes, phone lines, main sewers, fiber optics and electricity lines to clear the development area for construction. This will take the site preparations through to the end of the year.
The main phases will provide a wide range of town centre uses, including new shop units, leisure facilities and residential space. Significantly, an impressive line up of major tenants have already committed to the scheme including Sainsbury’s, which will be taking a 50,000 sq ft store and VUE Cinemas, which is to operate an eight-screen cinema.
Discussions are advanced with other well known high street retailers who will ensure that Farnborough, for the first time, has a shopping offer which can serve its natural catchment which currently has to travel further than necessary to have its shopping needs met.
This agreement also makes provision for 106 private residential units and 26 affordable housing units.
Work on the Sainsbury’s store and the 30 new shop units will start by early next year. The cinema scheme will act as an additional anchor to the southern end of Queensmead and is to be supported by 25,000 sq ft of restaurant units. The cinema planning application will be submitted in the next two weeks and if planning permission is granted could be on site early next year. The whole project is scheduled to complete in 2009.
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