EXCITING times are on the horizon for a town’s retail development, business leaders have said.
Earlier this year Manchester-based MCR Property announced its acquisition of the vacant Henblas Square in Wrexham town centre, which formerly housed stores including TJ Hughes, BHS, The Entertainer and an Evans clothing shop, as well as a Post Office.
Now senior members of Wrexham Town Centre Forum have spoken to the Leader following a meeting with MCR, which they say heralded a bright future for the site.
Town centre forum steering committee chairman Sam Regan, of The Lemon Tree in Rhosddu Road, said the company had confirmed it had two potential occupants lined up for the largest units – those formerly occupied by BHS and TJ Hughes – with plans to fill the smaller units to follow.
Mr Regan said: “The two big units are reportedly going to be sales more than tenancies, which is amazing for the town – it is all pending local process.”
He said while the forum had speculated with MCR over who the new occupants of the bigger units may be, the company had remained tight lipped and he could not reveal further details at present.
However he continued: “With what is proposed for to go into TJ Hughes and with Ty Pawb opening next year it is going to be an amazing asset. It is a really exciting time for the town.
“MCR are very approachable and if anyone has ideas about what should be there, they can get in touch with them.”
Mr Regan also said following talks with MCR he understood there were planning applications in progress in order to turn some office space above the retail units into accommodation space.
Wrexham Town Centre Forum chairman Alex Jones, of The Bank in High Street, told the Leader: “Myself and others of the town centre forum met with MCR, who are very keen to engage with local businesses and have been quite transparent.
“They have said the two bigger units were going though legal and they were hoping to get them signed up by the beginning of December.
”They have two interested parties but they can’t tell us who they are or when they would move in yet.
“Once they have been secured they are hoping for the others to fill up pretty quick.
“I believe they have a few occupants in mind for the smaller units and when the bigger ones are in they will follow.
“It is definitely a good thing for this area. Anything will be good but I would like to see some more retail to encourage more people to come to the town centre and use the shops and cafes that it has.”
MCR Property was approached for a comment.
When laying out the company’s vision for the site in July, an MCR Property spokesman said: “The acquisition of Henblas Square is an exciting addition to our ever-expanding retail portfolio.
“As a business, we have a proven track record of reinvigorating distressed assets and working in conjunction with Wrexham Council, we are confident we can provide a mixed-use offering to the area in keeping with the overall Town Centre Masterplan.”
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