Wednesday, August 24, 2016

News: New Costa proposals to perk up Parkgate

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As fit out work continues for a new Costa unit in Rotherham town centre, another is being planned for Parkgate Shopping.

Rothbiz reported first that "The Nation's Favourite Coffee Shop" was taking on the empty unit on Corporation Street that was vacated by fast food chain KFC last year.

Now a planning application has been submitted for a 1,800 sq ft standalone drive-thru unit to be occupied by Costa between Wilko's and Morrison's supermarket in the existing car park at Parkgate.

Part of Whitbread plc, Costa was founded in London in 1971 by Italian brothers, Sergio and Bruno. With over 2,000 coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,240 in 31 overseas markets, Costa is the fastest growing coffee shop business in the UK and is aiming to create 5,000 new UK jobs by 2020. It already operates in Rotherham at a 2,000 sq ft unit at Parkgate Shopping and the Waterfront development in Manvers.

Drive thru stores are operated by the company and by franchisees. Costa's turnover grew by 15.9% to £1.1 billion for the year to March 3 2016. Underlying operating profit was up 15.8% to £153.5m.

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The proposed development, which would take up 45 parking spaces, would be single storey and include feature glazing, and red and grey render and include a drive thru, not currently available at the existing Costa on the park.

The owners of the park, together with potential operators and visitors have all shown an interest in an improved food and drink offer at Parkgate. A 4,000 sq ft Frankie & Benny's restaurant opened in 2012 to complement to the existing instore caf├ęs and fast food outlets. A similar size Nando's opened at the end of 2015, a new development replacing the former Pizza Hut restaurant.

In 2016, an in-house coffee shop and eatery, UK Coffee Shop, opened within the 45,000 sq ft UK Outdoor Clearance site.

McDonald's opened a 24-hour restaurant and drive thru on the edge of Parkgate Shopping in 2014 and plans for a 2,000 sq ft Starbucks drive thru coffee shop at nearby Foundry Retail Park were approved in 2015.
Due to the small size of the proposed Costa unit, there is no requirement to undertake an impact assessment. On previous restaurant developments, Rotherham planners stated that "no evidence exists to demonstrate that the proposed development would have a significant adverse effect on the town centre."

Sequential tests ensure that development is located in the most sustainable location first (usually in town centres), before other, less sustainable locations are chosen. In this case, the applicants have discounted a number of sites in the town centre.

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Parkgate ranks in the top ten of British retail parks ranked by the total retail spend attracted to each centre. Attracting over nine million visitors a year, the 575,000 sq ft retail destination is one of the largest retail parks in the UK. Home to over 40 shops, the park is anchored by the likes of M&S, Outfit, Next, Boots and H&M.

Recent opening include The Works and Smyth's Toys. A tenant is close to moving into the empty unit vacated by BHS, the national retailer that went into liquidation.

In a transaction worth around £175m, BMO Real Estate Partners (BMO) acquired Parkgate Shopping in September 2015 from the Hercules Unit Trust (HUT), which is advised by British Land and managed by Schroders.

The latest application shows that Interest Trustees Ltd and Spread Trustee Company Ltd are now trustees of the Rotherham Unit Trust.

Costa website
Parkgate Shopping website

Images: Whitbread plc

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