Sat, 15 Jun 2019
SEVERAL developers have expressed an interest in buying Newbury’s Kennet Shopping centre.
The centre is being marketed as “a major redevelopment opportunity in an affluent area”, offering 243,813 sq ft of retail and leisure opportunity.
Marketing documents say that the Kennet Shopping centre offers “significant redevelopment potential for a variety of uses including residential”.
Current owner HIG Capital acquired the centre in 2015 and plans for a multi-million pound redevelopment were announced the following year.
But the scheme, which would have established a restaurant and leisure quarter, was put on hold last year, although Kung Fu and Sundaes Gelato have moved in.
Superbowl UK was scheduled to open a 14-lane 10-pin bowling alley, with laser tag and a children’s soft play area, in the former TK Maxx store in mid-2019.
The company told the Newbury Weekly News yesterday (Wednesday) that work was to start in July, with the alley planned to open in October.
In response to questions over what West Berkshire Council would like to see at the centre, councillor for economic development Hilary Cole (Con, Cold Ash and Chieveley) said: “We meet regularly with the owners of the Kennet centre, who keep us up to date with their intentions.
“Much of this is commercially sensitive, but what we can say is that a number of developers with an interest in redeveloping the centre have approached us and we will work with whoever buys it to deliver improvements.
“This, in turn, will better complement the Market Street development, which started this week and will see over £50m of investment in the south of the town.”
The leader of the council’s Liberal Democrat opposition, Lee Dillon (Thatcham North West), said: “Any redevelopment of the Kennet centre needs to ensure that we keep our cinema and maintains enough car parking for visitors to help support our local businesses.
“A complete residential offering would be a disaster for the town.”