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Hammerson to redevelop Debenhams store into new homes

The submission follows a virtual public consultation which took place at the end of last year, where members of the local community were invited to view the plans and attend a virtual community meeting and Q&A session with the project team

Hammerson has announced it has submitted plans to Leicester City Council to redevelop the former Debenhams store within the shopping centre Highcross into new homes for rent.

The development would see the former Debenhams department store which has been an “integral part of the city’s core” since its opening in 2008, transform into over 300 new homes.

Earlier this year, Debenhams had its intellectual property assets acquired by Boohoo in a £55m deal, however it did not include the 124 physical retail stores, stock or any financial services, meaning that the retailer’s 12,000 staff would be made redundant.

Geoff Rowley, joint administrator to Debenhams and partner at FRP Advisory, said at the time: “We continue to engage with interested parties over alternative proposals for the future of Debenhams, but inevitably the latest lockdown has had an effect on our plans for the wind-down of the business.

“We regret the impact on those colleagues affected by today’s announcement and would like to thank all those who continue to keep the business trading in very difficult circumstances.”

Mark Bourgeois, managing director UK and Ireland at Hammerson, added that while the “structural shift” in retail and changing consumer shopping habits have meant that destinations such as Highcross need to “adapt their offer” and mix of uses, “well-connected” city centre locations such as this “will always be places where people want to be”.

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