August 2, 2011
The deal follows the news earlier this year that MREF had agreed an option to buy the town centre offices of the local paper The Northern Echo on Priestgate (which comprises 40,000 sq ft) in order to enable expansion of the centre thereby encouraging a major retailer to locate there. Last autumn, MREF also acquired the Post Office building on Crown Street, another key site adjacent to the Cornmill Shopping Centre.
Speaking about the deal, Mark Holmes of Moorfield Group, the investment and asset manager of MREF said ‘Debenhams is an extremely popular retailer and their commitment to Darlington is a tremendous endorsement of both the town and the Cornmill. We are delighted to be welcoming Debenhams to the centre as we continue to see strong demand for retail space with the scheme now 100% let.’
Leigh Burnett, Property Director at Plus Shops, the property manager of the centre said ‘We are delighted to be welcoming Debenhams to the Cornmill and Darlington as this will provide a positive boost to the retail offer. By having such a quality department store opening its doors here, the Cornmill will benefit from additional footfall and shoppers staying locally and will move Darlington up the shopping hierarchy.”
The Cornmill Shopping Centre currently comprises 220,000 sq ft with over 40 retail units and is anchored by tenants that include Primark, Next, New Look, Top Shop, Dorothy Perkins, WHSmith and Clarks.
Debenhams was self represented with Moorfield represented by Plus Shops and Kitchen La Frenais Morgan.