Town bosses target John Lewis

UPMARKET department store John Lewis has been named as the number one target for developers of Ipswich's proposed £230million Mint Quarter.The retail giants are understood to be in talks with Shearer Property Group about setting up shop in the development's 40,000 sq ft anchor store.

UPMARKET department store John Lewis has been named as the number one target for developers of Ipswich's proposed £230million Mint Quarter, it can be revealed today.

The retail giants are understood to be in talks with Shearer Property Group about setting up shop in the development's 40,000 sq ft anchor store.

A highly-placed source within the town's business community told The Evening Star that all the stops are being pulled out to ensure the company signs on the dotted line.

The source said: “John Lewis is the one they really want to land and they are putting all their effort behind achieving that.”


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A spokeswoman for John Lewis refused to confirm the company is in talks over the site but did say the group is carrying out an ongoing expansion programme.

She said: “We are looking at a number of locations across the country on a regular basis and are in contact with developers to assess the potential for anchor developments.

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“Developers are always very keen to have us as an anchor store.

“We look for good, high-quality retail destinations across the country.”

Shearer Property Group has declined to reveal details of who they are speaking to about the flagship store although the firm is confident of sealing a deal which would enable the submission of a planning application by early next year.

The Mint Quarter scheme, destined for the area between Tacket Street and Carr Street, will comprise a department store, 50 shops and car parking for around 900 cars.

Earlier this month The Evening Star revealed that Waitrose, part of the John Lewis Partnership, is one of several retailers speaking to Turnstone Estates about taking on the anchor store at the former Civic Centre site.

Plans for a new retail, leisure and residential development on the former council offices site hinge on which major food outlet takes the proposed 50,000 sq ft anchor store.

n> Would a John Lewis store be good for Ipswich? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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