Wickes, Hobbycraft and M&S announce plans in major £8m development at Beardmore Park, Martlesham Heath
Major plans for a new £8million retail estate in Martlesham Heath, including DIY store Wickes, and scores of new jobs have been confirmed.
Land next to the Tesco Extra store, in Anson Road, was acquired by property firm LondonMetric Saturn in April, opposite its existing Beardmore Park retail estate, which will be developed into a new 30,000 sq ft retail park.
The announcement comes as work got underway on Beardmore Park, with craft retailer Hobbycraft set to fill the former Conway Furniture unit, while Marks and Spencer’s food store will expand into the former Brantano next door.
The shoe firm confirmed it would be moving to the smaller unit previously occupied by Ling’s Garden Store.
A LondonMetric spokesman said: “In Ipswich, LondonMetric has acquired a three-acre site from Tesco, where it intends to develop a new 30,000 sq ft retail park; 20,000 sq ft has been pre-let to Wickes.
“The development is expected to be complete in summer 2017 at a total cost of £8million, reflecting an anticipated yield of 7.7%.”
A community consultation was held last month, with a full planning application set to be submitted to Suffolk Coastal District Council in the near future.
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While Wickes will occupy one of the new units, a second store has yet to be confirmed.
The LondonMetric spokesman said Hobbycraft’s lease had been signed for 15 years on the 7,500 sq ft property, while Brantano’s move was on a 10-year lease.
The spokesman added: “M&S has upsized from 15,000 sq ft to 20,000 sq ft by extending into the former Brantano unit, on a new 15 year lease.”
While M&S would not confirm the expansion, it is understood the firm intends to expand its food store to sell home, clothing and beauty products.
An M&S spokesman said: “We do have an interest in developing the food offering in Martlesham Heath, but we have nothing to confirm at the moment.”
A “substantial increase in rent” forced Ling’s Garden Store to find a new home in Hawkers Drive in February, paving the way for Brantano to move into the empty garden centre and therefore allowing M&S to expand.
Work on the Hobbycraft and new Brantano units is expected to take between four and six months, although no details on when the stores may be open and numbers of jobs that may be created have been released as yet.
A spokesman for construction firm Havercroft said it has been contracted to carry out work on the Hobbycraft and Brantano units, and added: “We are giving it a bit of a facelift and bringing it to life a little bit. The scope of works is changing a little bit but it’s likely to be a 20 week project.”
A Hobbycraft spokesman said: “We’re delighted to be opening a store in Ipswich later this year, and look forward to working with the local community.”
A spokesman for Wickes was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.