Shopping centre developer Intu is planning to spend up to £600m on expanding and improving its retail properties over the next three years.
Its development pipeline is to be focused on transformational shopping centre developments at Watford and Broadmarsh in Nottingham, as well as a leisure extension at Lakeside in Essex.
Confirmation of the firm’s development pipeline came as Intu revealed results showing a £518m profit for the year, with rental income up 8%.
David Fischel, Intu chief executive, said: “As economic recovery spreads out from London and the south east to the regions, consumer confidence is positive, driving improved retailer demand for space in our centres at a time when new supply of quality retail space is very limited. Investor interest for prime regional shopping centres remains keen.
“These factors provide a favourable background for our development programme as we look to introduce the next level of leisure concepts. We expect to undertake around £600m of mixed retail and leisure projects in the next three years in the UK, in particular the Intu Watford extension.”
He added the firm would also start construction on a major Spanish shopping resort development, intu Costa del Sol.
At Intu Watford, Laing O’Rourke has begun a £178m extension, demolishing Charter Place to replace it with a substantial retail and leisure offering anchored by a nine-screen Cineworld IMAX cinema and Debenhams.
With the refurbishment of Intu Victoria Centre complete, the firm plans to advance the second phase of its Nottingham vision – the redevelopment of Intu Broadmarsh. This £75m project will bring a cinema, leisure uses and convenience retail to the southern end of the city.
Fischel added: “At Intu Lakeside, we are in advanced talks with an international brand to introduce a new type of leisure offer to the shopping centre experience. This will be the first phase of a £95m, 225,000 sq ft leisure extension designed to increase dwell time and the overall catchment of the centre.”
He added that beyond 2018, Intu has a £1.1bn pipeline of opportunities across several centres with major extensions planned at Intu Lakeside, the Victoria Centre, Cribbs Causeway and Braehead, and an upgrade and remodelling of Milton Keynes.
The first two projects have planning approvals with the firm advancing the planning process on the latter three.
“We will bring these projects forward in line with tenant demand,” he added.