10:49AM, Wednesday 06 November 2019
The Nicholsons Centre redevelopment is a ‘once in a lifetime opportunity to put the glory back into Maidenhead’.
That is the view of Rob Tincknell, partner at Areli Real Estate, the urban regeneration specialists managing the shopping centre project on behalf of its new owners, Tikehau Capital.
Mr Tincknell was speaking at a Maidenhead Town Forum meeting on Monday night in the town hall, where he explained the extensive plans for the mixed-use development of the Nicholsons Centre.
Proposals have been under the public eye for some months since the centre went into receivership last October, with two public exhibitions held there in March and October this year.
The car park will be relocated to a more central location and the complex broken up into key shopping and leisure areas, some with names influenced by the town’s history, including Sir Nicholas Winton Square.
Mr Tincknell told the forum: “We put the soul back into schemes. There is real life there and we are really excited about that.
“That is exactly the approach we want to have in Maidenhead.”
He added: “We take out shopping centres and put back in town centres. There is a once in a lifetime opportunity to put the glory back into Maidenhead.
“This is not going to be easy, but we are truly committed to it.”
The plans will see retail space on the ground floor and residential and office space above.
Mr Tincknell said: “People go to town centres to explore and find the nooks and crannies.”
Sitting on the forum, Cllr Josh Reynolds (Lib Dem, Furze Platt) expressed concerns about what will happen to the town centre during the period of change, and also about town centre parking for new residents.
“The plans are fantastic – [but] I am slightly concerned of what Maidenhead becomes in that time if we demolish all of our town centre. What do we have left?” he said.
Mr Tincknell suggested that some firms could be moved to vacant spots in the high street.
The Areli partner added: “There will be a period of change, but that is why we have got to get on with it.”
On parking, Mr Tincknell said: “We do not have the perfect solution, but we will.”
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