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John Lewis hopes for Hove development dashed
1:10pm Monday 15th October 2012 in News
Plans for the “nation’s favourite retailer” to open a new store in Hove appear to have fallen through.
The Argus revealed on Saturday developers behind the new £100 million proposed scheme near Hove Station hoped John Lewis could be part of the plan.
Meetings in the city held as recently as Friday were mentioning the national retailer as part of the plan.
However, hours after The Argus went to print, Matsim Properties, the firm behind the proposal, put a statement on its website saying John Lewis would not be occupying any part of its site, known as Hove Square.
Craig Ritchie of Matsim Properties, said: “Moving towards a full planning application on our site is an incredibly complicated jigsaw puzzle with some juggling thrown in. We have not agreed any deals with any occupiers but we have strong ideas on the mix of uses and the quantum of uses.
“We are however talking to many operators for the cinema, the retail and the offices and the restaurants. We have had numerous meetings with potential occupiers.
“John Lewis is a well known retailer who is keen to be represented in Brighton and Hove. Our most recent correspondence from them was late on Friday when they said they did not want to pursue further discussions with us in relation to this site for the time being.
“This could well be that they, at the moment, prefer another site in the city but we are not privy to their discussions.”
The developer has been working for three years to secure a six-hectare plot which includes Ellen Street, Conway Street and Fonthill Road.
Also included is a footprint for a supermarket, nine-screen cinema, 90,000sq ft of office space for about 1,250 jobs, and about 380 homes in five high-rise blocks up to 22 storeys high.
Any plan is subject to planning permission from Brighton and Hove City Council, but developers are hopeful work could start by early 2014.