Liverpool's Met Quarter gets a boost with signing of Flannels

Milligan Retail Resorts International has pushed its Met Quarter development in Liverpool closer to reality with two key deals.

The specialist retail developer, set up two years ago by ex-Jones Lang LaSalle retail head John Milligan, has signed fashion department store Flannels to anchor the 150,000 sq ft (13,935 sq m) scheme. The retailer has taken a 21,000 sq ft (1,950 sq m) two-storey unit.

At the same time Milligan has bought its development partner, the Walton Group.

The Met Quarter is on the site of Liverpool's former head post office, with frontages to Whitechapel, Stanley Street, Victoria Street and Sir Thomas Street just to the north of the prime Lord Street. It has been vacant since the mid-1980s, while Walton struggled to find a viable development format.

Milligan chief executive John Milligan said the Flannels letting would set the tone for the project as a fashion-led scheme, with a tenant mix not unlike the Victoria Quarter in Leeds or London's King's Road.

Now that ownership issues have been resolved and planning is in place, Milligan said work would begin on site before the beginning of September, with completion due in autumn next year.

At the same time, Milligan is making progress with its plans to reposition the Triangle shopping centre in Manchester.

Fashion industry sources say the scheme has been selected by sportswear giant Adidas to launch a new format called Adidas Originals.