Portsmouth: Work starts at Highcross’ new retail and lifestyle hub

Work is now underway on the new retail and lifestyle hub at Highcross’ Lakeside North Harbour business park in Portsmouth, after the contract was given to local construction company Warings.

Two units, totalling 3,000 sq ft, have already been pre-let to The Southern Co-operative, which also has its headquarters at 1000 Lakeside, and will be used for a convenience store and florist. A further three of the planned seven units are currently under offer: to a dry cleaning business, hairdresser and cafe.

Highcross awarded Warings the £3 million construction contract for the new retail hub and the recently-announced day nursery. The full-service contractor has already completed the infrastructure phase of the project, which included the installation of a sewerage tank and electricity cables. It previously handled the major refurbishment of the 1000 Lakeside office building back in 2007.

The retail scheme will involve the construction of two single-storey pavilions which will be linked to the 1000 Lakeside building by a tensile fabric canopy.

Philippe Jouy, managing director of Warings, said: “We are proud of the work we have carried out at Lakeside and the high standard of the finish we achieved there. So it is a real pleasure to be working on such an important site again with a project that promises to really add to its attraction and the quality of the facilities there.”

The new retail/lifestyle hub is expected to be ready for opening in early 2013.

Richard Stileman, head of estates for The Southern Co-operative, commented: “We are delighted with the opportunity to have not only a store but also a florist on site. This will be a definite plus for our own colleagues and for employees of the many other businesses based at Lakeside.”

The retail and nursery pre-lets follow record lettings at the park’s 1000 Lakeside building, where a total of 115,000 sq ft office space was let by Highcross last year.

Highcross asset management director, Nick Turner, added: “The planned expansion of our Lakeside North Harbour business park is beginning to take shape, with early pre-lets on our retail hub and nursery, and the development of the new car retail centre, highlighting the business park’s growing reputation as a leading location for businesses. These latest deals also underline our desire to provide a superb working environment for companies based at the park, with a growing range of amenities and facilities right on their doorstep.”