31/05/2011

Demolition Phase For Sandyknowes Centre

Demolition work is currently well advanced on the out-dated and dilapidated Northcott Shopping Centre in Glengormley.

After weeks of uncertainty over a start date and a Tesco refusal to comment, the existing store closed at the end of April so that work could be started on the multi-million pound replacement Sandyknowes Shopping Centre.

When finished, it will include a Tesco Extra, petrol filling station and new retail units.

The development is long behind schedule as plans were approved in December 2009 with the new £35m complex originally due to have been finished last Christmas.

As previously reported exclusively on Tesco's Sandyknowes Centre Underway despite Tesco refusing to issue any details - the wreckers were indeed ready to level the premises after Easter - with McCormack Demolition currently due to finish on site soon.

It is now hoped that the new Tesco Extra will open before Christmas, possibly at the end of November.

Shane Murphy, Property Manager for Tesco in Northern Ireland, said: "We are delighted that work is starting on the contemporary Sandyknowes Shopping Centre.

"Tesco will return as the anchor tenant with a store that is around twice the size of our current Northcott store. I would also like to take this opportunity to apologise for any short-term inconvenience during essential construction works."

Following a tender process, Newtownabbey-based construction firm McLaughlin & Harvey is building the new centre.
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The initial approval was issued for the demolition of the existing centre and the subsequent construction of a new shopping centre and underground car park.

New, total overall floor area envisaged under these plans equalled 33,463 square metres.

The new plans will see the construction of a new food superstore, 12 class A1 retail units and a cafe with adjacent petrol filling station.

All associated car parking, servicing and landscaping are also included in the plans.

Plans also involve developing a unit for the principal anchor, Tesco, who inherited the existing store as part of the Stewarts acquisition in the late 1990s, to "bring modern convenience retailing to local customers".

The remaining mall units will similarly be upgraded at the centre, providing the opportunity to secure enhanced representation from multiples, in addition to quality local independents.

Main construction work - originally expected to commence on site during late May - won't now start until June as soon as demolition ends.

Chemist Cares

Meanwhile, the centre’s pharmacy has taken a bold step and set up business in a newly built area of the car park, effectively offering continuity of trading right across the closure period so as to minimise inconvenience for customers.

It is currently operating from a single, reinforced 40’ container, fitted out as a shop and offering a range of pharmacy services to customers, ready relocate back into the brand new facility before Christmas.

See: McLaughlin And Harvey Scoop Tesco Northcott

(BMcC/KMcA)

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