The £50m Queensway North regeneration scheme, which comprises the former Marks & Spencer and adjoining retail parade, will see Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) form a partnership with Reef Group.
The development of the Queensway North area is being funded by Aviva Investors, and will form a significant and important part of Stevenage’s £1bn, 20-year regeneration programme.
The development obtained planning permission in August 2018 and consists of approximately 45,000 sq ft of new retail and restaurant space, a gym, new offices, an innovation and technology centre, and 116 apartments.
Sharon Taylor, Leader of Stevenage Borough Council, said: “Our vision is to reinvigorate the centre of Stevenage, and with Reef Group now on board we’re in a great position to deliver on this vision. Together we’re bringing a new and different type of shopping experience, an innovation and technology centre, and more homes into the heart of our town, which will create a new and vibrant place for more people to shop, work and play”.
The first phase comprising the commercial aspect of the scheme will be complete at the end of 2019, with the second phase consisting of more than 100 new homes is set to be completed 12 months later at the end of 2020.
The scheme’s aim will be to; update tired and dated buildings and shopping areas, reinventing traditional high street shopping and modernising the town centre, introducing new bars and restaurants, better public spaces, new homes.
Mark Wells, Director, Aviva Investors, said: “We are delighted to have entered into this long term partnership with Stevenage Borough Council and Reef Group. Reef and the Council have impressive plans for the scheme which will give the town centre a new lease of life, supporting both housing need and economic development.”
Construction will start on-site early this year.