Jan 8 2008 by Neil Hodgson
An artist's impression of what the new-look St John's shopping centre could look like _320
LIVERPOOL’S St John’s shopping centre is in line for a new look after a multi-million pound makeover to keep pace with the city’s resurgent retail revolution.
Centre owner, the giant property group Land Securities, is proposing to revamp the 60s mall and establish it as a centre for “value mid-market” shopping brands, compared with the existing MetQuarter and the imminent Liverpool One centre soon to open in the city.
Their proposals for the updated centre include two-storey malls, more natural light for shoppers and a new food terrace overlooking Clayton Square, which Land Securities also owns.
Improvements to St John’s worth “tens of millions of pounds” will also feature new flooring, lighting and toilet facilities, as well as improvements carried out with Liverpool council to public areas around the centre.
St John’s Market will be moved to a new purpose-built market hall on one side of Williamson Square.
The whole project could be finished by May 2012 if the plans are given the green light.
Managers say the centre will continue to operate normally throughout the facelift.
The ECHO revealed the first stage of the centre’s revamp in August last year when Land Securities announced plans to build Europe’s biggest TV screen as part of a media wall on the centre opposite Lime Street station.
Nick Davis, Land Securities development director, said at the time: “The media wall will create a stunning impression for visitors to Liverpool over the coming years.”
The public is also being invited to have its say on the latest exciting new proposals and Land Securities has built a new marketing suite in the centre’s St George’s Way, opposite Wilkinson’s and next to the centre management office, which will be open for viewing between 10am and 4pm weekdays from tomorrow and on two Saturdays each month.
Visitors are invited to give their feedback ahead of the plans being submitted to Liverpool council next month.
Speaking ahead of the launch, Liverpool council leader, Cllr Warren Bradley, said “These are exciting times for our city and all of us here in Liverpool.
“I welcome Land Securities’ continued commitment to Liverpool. I believe the plans for St John’s will complement Liverpool’s growing retail offer and I would encourage Liverpool’s shoppers to come into the marketing suite, have a look around and give their own feedback on the plans.”
Nick Davis added: “St John’s is a long-established shopping centre in Liverpool and has always been popular among shoppers.
“Last year alone the centre had 20 million visits. The centre is, however, showing signs of its age and we are hoping to undertake a comprehensive programme of refurbishment.
“The proposals will give the centre a new look inside and out, providing a modern shopping environment for Liverpool city centre.”
Figures released in November last year predicted that Liverpool will rise to sixth place in the UK league table of shopping destinations by 2017, rocketing up from its current 15th place.
And the survey predicts a 33.7% increase in spending over the next 10 years, by far the highest increase of any major city.
New investment in the city’s retail sector, such as Grosvenor’s £1bn Liverpool One scheme and Land Securities’ St John’s revamp, is expected to encourage an annual spendings boost from £1,038,088,930 last year to £1,422,199,897 in 2017.
Further information on the community consultation is available at www.everydayforeverybody.com
The CGI looks like the centre is just getting a re-clad. Has anyone seen the plans yet? What are they demolishing and what are they keeping? Also, I can't see where they're going to put the market unless they are going to redevelop the LFC shop building!
I totally missed the link to the everydayforeverbody.com website! Apparently there is a model of the refurbished St johns in the marketing suite, which should be interesting. From the image of Williamson square it looks like the LFC shop building is going to be rebuilt! Good move really as I always felt that building looked too 'business park' for a city centre square.
pix from Echo website
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