A FIRST glimpse of how the initial phase of the Eastgate Quarter could look has been unveiled.
The first stage of the prestigious £110m development in Leeds could be completed by autumn 2016.
Developer Hammerson announced it has agreed to a 260,000 sq ft flagship John Lewis store, which will now be located in a different area of the site than originally planned.
The new store will form part of Harewood, the first phase of Eastgate Quarters, which will see two new retail streets created as well as a direct route from the Victoria Quarter to the new development.
Acme will design and deliver the John Lewis building and up to 30 retail units. There will also be up to six restaurants and leisure space and plans are under way to turn the current Millgarth police station into a multi-storey car park.
Last week senior councillors agreed to buy the Millgarth site, currently owned by West Yorkshire Police Authority.
West Yorkshire Police will move to new divisional headquarters at Elland Road and the city centre neighbourhood policing base and public contact point will also be relocated.
Work will begin in autumn, with Hammerson indicating it will submit a detailed planning application in spring 2013.
Subject to planning approval, work will start in summer 2014, with the launch of Harewood in autumn 2016.
When it is fully completed Eastgate Quarters will accommodate around 1m sq ft of new retail and leisure space.
Coun Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “This announcement is excellent news for the city centre and for Leeds as a whole.
“To know that we now have a clear timetable from Hammerson is really exciting.
“Eastgate Quarters will bring thousands of new visitors to the city as well as creating a significant number of jobs for local people.”
David Atkins, chief executive for Hammerson, said: “Leeds has an excellent reputation for high end shopping and bringing John Lewis to the city will reinforce Leeds’s position amongst both retailers and shoppers.”
l Why Leeds is the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’. See pages 14 and 15.