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L&G forward funds GBP39.6m Asda superstore in Kent

Legal & General has forward funded a 73,300 square foot Asda Superstore at Chatham Docks, Chatham Waters, Kent, allowing it to commence works on its circa GBP650m development scheme. 

Once complete, the wider mixed-use dockside regeneration project, which is being undertaken by developer Peel and comprises 950 residential units, 430,000 sq ft of offices and a hotel, along with associated infrastructure, is expected to create over 3,500 jobs.
 
Forming Phase 1 of Chatham Waters, the new Asda food retail superstore and petrol filling station, which are located on the southern part of the site close to Pier Road, will create 450 permanent jobs. 
 
Legal & General will be funding the development over the construction period and on completion Asda will take a new 25 year lease.  The new store will offer the local population an alternative to the current food stores in the nearby area and it is anticipated the superstore will be open in Autumn 2015.
 
James Whittaker, development director at Peel, says: “We are pleased to welcome Asda as the very first occupier at Chatham Waters at a key area of the site fronting Pier Road. Their confirmation enables us to start work on the road improvements and landscaping in this phase breathing new life into a significant area of the dockland. Chatham Waters is a wholly privately funded development with Peel investing GBP25m in Phase 1 alone and it is hoped it will give the region a real economic boost.”
 
Adam Kerr, head of long income transactions at Legal & General Property, says: “We are delighted to be providing the catalyst to this major regeneration scheme which will we believe will transform the local area, offering significant benefits both in terms of job opportunities and social amenities.”
 
The completion with Asda enables Peel to start on further work on the site. Contractors Sisk have been instructed and will work on road improvements, highway works and landscaping and public realm works that form Phase 1 of the development. They will also begin work on creating a platform for the new GBP10m University Technical College (UTC) which Medway Council recently announced would be built at the site following detailed planning permission being granted.
 
Chatham Waters will transform the heavy industrial site into a 1.9 million sq ft mixed-use sustainable development incorporating offices, an education facility, a conference centre, a hotel, apartments and town houses, a foodstore and a number of landscaped public areas. It is estimated the plans could create 3,500 jobs.

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