The team behind the proposed multi-million pound North West One development at the Crescent Link says it’s in advanced talks with a number of well-known branded operators who are excited at the prospect of locating in Londonderry.
A spokesman for the development team made the comments after the submission of an application with the planning service. He said the main priority at this stage is gaining planning permission for the development, which will include a new food store and petrol filling station; a multi-screen cinema; family restaurants; a gym; crèche facilities; offices and live/work units; high street brand names; car parking and public realm space.
He said: “The North West One planning application represents a significant investment and will create a vibrant family orientated hub, enhancing the offer of the city as a whole. This is an important opportunity to regenerate a vacant site and create an economic focal point in the North West.
“We are confident, upon receipt of planning permission, that well-known brands, jobs and wider economic development will be forthcoming to the site.
“Full time, part time and flexible working opportunities are expected to be available during the operational phase.
“We are now at an advanced stage with a number of well-known branded operators who are excited at the prospect of the new development and gaining representation in Londonderry/Derry. Premier Inn is already fully operational at the site and we hope to be in the position of announcing the brands that are lined up to trade at North West One in due course.
“We have already invested in the local workforce and engaged local contractors to carry out general maintenance, security and health and safety works on the site.”
A large multidisciplinary development team led by the administrator, John Hansen from KPMG is now taking the project forward after the erstwhile developer GSB Guernsey Trading Ltd was placed in administration. Ulster Bank is also a constituent member of the team.
Earlier this year retail giant Asda told the Sentinel it was committed to a new store in Londonderry but refused to be drawn on whether or not it will anchor the proposed North West One project.
Yet the development team told the Sentinel that the major petrol-selling retailer lined up for the development is new to Londonderry.
The only petrol-selling supermarket not already established here is Asda, excluding Morrison’s, whose interest in Northern Ireland was acquired by the former in 2005.
North West One will result in a £45 million investment.
It is expected to create 247 jobs a year for two years (494 in total) during construction and a further 509 direct jobs during the operational phase with annual wages of £9.4 million.
A separate application has been submitted for 70 quality homes.
Upon receipt of planning permission the development could start by the end of 2014.