One of Bradford’s most prominent shop and office buildings is to be given a new lease of life – and a new name.
The lower floors of Arndale House, opposite the Westfield site, are being redeveloped and rebranded as The Xchange, a modern shopping complex designed to complement the under-construction Broadway shopping centre.
The first two floors will be reconfigured to offer up to nine shop or restaurant units across 44,000 sq ft of retail space.
And the outside of the building, which sits between Charles Street, Broadway and Market Street, will also be given a brand new look, with a two-storey glass frontage.
Planning permission is already in place and work is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year. The reconfigured units will be available for occupation by tenants from the second half of 2015, so they will be able to open at roughly the same time as the Broadway shops in the fourth quarter of the year.
The company behind the project is London-based Augur Investments, which also owns the Rawson Quarter in Bradford city centre.
The firm’s development director, George Adamopoulos, was in Bradford yesterday hoping to woo potential tenants at the Taste of Bradford investor event hosted by lobbying group Bradford Breakthrough and Bradford Council. He said the company had bought Arndale House back in 2011.
He said: “We also own Rawson Quarter, so we were already in Bradford and we knew the area. It seemed like a sensible opportunity, and it’s a fantastic asset in its own right.”
While many of the shops in Arndale House now lie empty, some tenants remain. Mr Adamopoulos said the majority of their leases were due to expire soon.
Agent Ryan Kennedy, of Jones Lang LaSalle, said there already had been interest from a buffet restaurant company, a gym and a sports shop.
He described the start of work on Westfield as the “game-changer” and said it was hoping to attract tenants who wanted to tap into the city-centre improvements around the Broadway site without having to pay a premium to be in the shopping centre itself.
He said: “They will sit opposite Westfield, they will share the boulevard with Westfield, but our rents will be competitive with Westfield.
“We won’t have a Westfield-level service charge.”