As the commercial property sector was beginning to think shopping centres were a thing of the past, Areli Real Estate has revealed plans to create “Maidenhead’s new heart” in place of the tired Nicholsons Shopping Centre.
The property development company has submitted planning application for a £400 million scheme to demolish and rebuild the existing 1970s Berkshire shopping centre.
Areli said that Nicholsons Quarter in Maidenhead is a ‘once in a lifetime’ urban revival opportunity, right in the centre of the historic Thames Valley town. The project is one of the first ‘shopping centre to town centre’ regeneration initiatives in the UK, designed specifically to address the changing landscape of high streets in our towns and cities.
The mixed-use project will bring together several hundred new homes, workspace for more than 2,000 thousand people, more than 60 new “flexible” shops and restaurants that will breath a new lease of life into this historic Thames Valley town.
New buildings will enclose and define over 1.5 acres of new, open public realm in a more traditional urban form, reinstating the original streets and spaces lost by the development of the old shopping centre. Central to the plan will be the creation of ‘Sir Nicholas Winton Square,’ named by local residents in honour of Sir Nicholas’ extraordinary act of bravery during the Second World War.
The development proposals have come after considerable ‘Think Maidenhead’ research and the largest public engagement ever undertaken in the borough. Several thousand people, including many schools and colleges, took part in multiple workshops and hands-on planning. The commitment to proactive and participatory engagement will carry on after the application with a dedicated website and smartphone app where the community can continue to provide input.