"Encouraging interest" at Meadowhall but giant Debenhams store still empty
UK property giant British Land has said it has received “encouraging interest” from potential “high-quality” replacements to fill the still-vacant former Debenhams site at its part-owned Meadowhall shopping centre in Sheffield.
The two-storey anchor space at the end of Park Lane has been empty since the Debenhams store closed for good in May. Shortly afterwards, Meadowhall director Darren Pearce said he hoped to announce new occupiers “in the summer”.
However, the space remains vacant alongside a former Topshop and Topman, making the end of that Meadowhall wing particularly quiet compared to the rest of the centre.
But Charlotte Whitley, head of communications at British Land, told the Yorkshire Post: “We continue to see encouraging interest in the former Debenhams unit at Meadowhall, with active discussions ongoing with high-quality occupiers to take the space”.
She also noted that the recent opening of the Frasers Group-owned Flannels Lifestyle Store had been a big boost “and we are receiving a lot of leasing interest across the centre”.
She added: “Footfall has been very encouraging over the summer linked to the further relaxation of Covid constraints”.
Debenhams had operated 165 department stores but the business went into administration last December. Around 100 stores finally closed across the country in May, with many remaining vacant. However, some sites have been repurposed into housing, healthcare centres or student accommodation, including those in Leeds, Gloucester and Leicester.
The former Debenhams store site on The Moor in Sheffield city centre was recently bought for £1.5 million by London property firm MHA. The company has yet to reveal its intentions.
Meanwhile, there is still no news on plans to build a £150 million extension at Meadowhall. British Land insists the scheme is still going ahead, but put was put on hold as the centre was hit by enforced store closures during the pandemic. British Land submitted a revised application for the scheme at the end of 2020, local reports say.
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