Recently in South Wales Category
As revealed by EG in this week's magazine Cineworld will anchor the leisure part of the scheme with an eight-screen cinema. There's a sparkly new picture of the scheme above and below is how almost the same view point looks today. Debenhams has already signed as the retail anchor and with the incredibly acquisitive cinema operator now taking space it hints that the occupiers haven't given up on Newport.
One agent said that it won't be long before Marks and Spencer makes a reappearance in the town. The retail closed down it's city centre store WHEN in favour of an out of town location, but that could all be about to change. Queensberry have said in the past that they are in still in a dialogue with M&S and it would be mad not to.
But what really gives everyone hope is the fact that Queensberry says it is in "advanced talks" with national operators for the ten restaurant units and has agreed terms with its main fashion anchors. An announcement on the latter is expected very soon.
Newport is still too often the butt of too many jokes. But if, as promised, the developer can nail those retailers then the pundits are going to have to find a different punchline.
There's no disputing that it is a landmark building but it is tired, worn and Admiral which occupy the lion's share of space in the tower, are due to vacate for it's shiny new headquarters (£) in under three years. So why would you buy a building where the triple A covenant is about to leave?
Local agents are in two minds. Some think (probably hope) that Admiral will stay in the building as the insurer continues to expand. However, industry experts say that the insurance market is now slowing and expansion plans at Admiral have become more modest than they were.
So, that leaves letting the space. Here, the agents are split. Some, such as Peter Graham, director at Stephenson Alexander, think it would be a long hard slog to let the building floor by floor. Others such as Mark Sutton at Knight Frank, believe that's where the market is. Both agree that finding a single occupier for up to 80,000 sq ft would be a tall order in the current market.
But, with Topland Estates currently looking to retain an agent for the building nobody is prepared to rule it out and potentially talk themselves out of a juicy commission.
We'll be discussing this in more detail in the Wales Focus in the magazine on the 17th November.
The market's tough but there are a worse things than spending a Friday drinking Peroni. That was the verdict from guests at EG's annual Cardiff reception last Friday.
Around 60 of Wales' property's finest enjoyed the food and free flowing booze at the Park Plaza hotel.
But worries about the market weren't far from their mind. 'We're one away from getting out the Yellow Pages and ringing up people and asking "do you want a shed?"' quipped one. That said there's plenty to keep them busy. With the fate of the convention centre due to be decided, the BBC poised to decide on its 140,000 sq ft requirement and agents about to be announced for Capital Tower it probably won't be dull.
Click on the slide show above to see pictures from the event. The synopsis for EG's Wales Focus released at the reception is available here.
Pictures by Alistair Heap
Analysis of the market conditions and future prospects.
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The money will be poured into getting its regeneration projects off the ground.
Nobody needs this more than Newport. The city is looking very sorry for itself. Retailers such as Mark & Spencer are abandoning the city and if you want much more than a sandwich or a burger for lunch then you'll probably struggle.
Which is a shame because if you fight past the empty shop units and the gas works which are currently ripping up the city centre's roads, down by the river a lot of work has already been done. On the south side of The Kingsway and beyond, the public realm is looking much better - just look at the pictures above taken this week. The riverside theatre and the new university are in place and hopes are Queensberry will have builders on site at its £100m retail led Friars Walk by next summer.
Sheila Davies, corporate director at Newport City Council, is now charging ahead with her seemingly boundless energy to take on the rest of the city. Regeneration in the light of Modus' demise, has been rethought and rezoned (listen to Sheila explain more below) and in total £20m will be spent "getting rid of obstacles' so that private investors have no excuses to get involved with the city.
A full interview with Sheila is available to EGi subscribers here. Click through to Sheila explain about the council's property portfolio review.
It seems Cardiff's LDP has been leaked to the Welsh press.
Wales Online has a story up which outlines in quite a lot of detail what's going on and where. There's still no official word from the council but I've heard the it has, at least verbally, agreed that the detail is correct.
The LDP has been so heavily delayed and there's been a real battle over Greenfield release (we and others have talked about this before). The growth option they've eventually opted for at 45,000 new homes between now and 2026 is the middle of the road option (the highest option called for 54,400 homes) and is actually less than than the Welsh Goverment's housing projections for Cardiff.
Nobody wants to go on record (there are some very lucrative property and development deals to be done here) but as one pointed out, 'they'll have to justify using this lower figure to the Welsh Government...there is a real prospect that the final housing numbers may actually need to be higher than this.
Cardiff's argument is that housing numbers should be looked at on a regional basis rather than them being left to pick up the numbers others don't want because they are the last to produce their plan.
Generally the property industry seem pleased that Cardiff - at last, eventually - appear to be grasping the nettle, one they've been avoiding since it became clear in February 2010 that the previous draft of the LDP was going to be thrown out. But, they warn, this is just the preferred strategy, with member and public views on this being sought in October and December respectively.
This is the real crunch time. At this point the vision will come under intense scrutiny and the resolve of Cardiff Council to build 18,250 homes on Greenfield sites will be really tested.
To add fuel to the fire, the Independent Advisory Group appointed by the Welsh Government to report on future options for the delivery of the planning service are also due to report back in October. This may see revisions to the entire plan making process in Wales, potentially giving Cardiff the opportunity to scrap the plan again.
So while most are relieved that Cardiff does at last have a plan they're still left hanging. As one put it: ' This is merely the start of what I suspect will be a hugely emotive debate, which unfortunately, I am not convinced will end up looking like the current plan.'
If it doesn't there is the threat Cardiff will still not have an adopted plan by 2020.