The Range could come to Coulby Newham as part of major plans by the Parkway center owner.
Evolve Estates wants to demolish Dalby House, opposite the site’s Tesco petrol station, and replace it with two major new store units. It would create 100 jobs in the area – and although plans are ‘in their infancy’, the company says there are further improvements ‘in the pipeline’ for the busy shopping centre.
Department store The Range has ‘expressed interest’ in opening a 30,000 square foot store in one of the units as plans are set to be lodged with Middlesbrough Council. Parkway center manager Zoe France said: “We want these plans to come to fruition, but it’s still too early. We’re submitting plans and we’re delighted.”
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“It will be a massive improvement for the mall if it goes ahead,” she continued. “The owner is extremely enthusiastic, it’s a demonstration of his commitment to investing in the center and it’s the start of things to come.
“The plans are in their infancy but hopefully we can get them through and once we do there are other things going on. There have already been many inquiries and many investments to get to this point.”
Evolve is also currently in talks with Middlesbrough Council regarding the acquisition of two car parks on the site, including the Rainbow Center car park. The former Jobcentre Dalby House has been vacant for years.
But the prolonged inactivity on the site is not due to “a lack of testing”, adds Zoe. “We would have looked to put it away and put someone in it,” she said, “but it’s not that simple.
“The previous owner and the current owner were keen to do something with it, but the numbers have to pile up.” The latest plans would be a “hugely positive step forward for Coulby Newham”, she said.
“Having Tesco as a flagship store at one end of the complex – and The Range at the other – would be fantastic.” Coulby Newham adviser Stefan Walker said he understood The Range had been confirmed as occupiers.
He posted on Facebook: “The plans I’ve seen basically call for the current building to be demolished and then two new units to be built in its place. The largest unit already has a confirmed occupant, The Range.
“I will keep residents informed as this develops and I am sure the Parkway Center itself will do the same. Bringing a long empty building and unused space to life and creating jobs for the area is a step incredibly positive.
“What we then need to make sure is that the whole area has adequate access and that the traffic headaches we already suffer at peak times are resolved. That’s part of my job, make that argument to the board and I will.”
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