Firm pulls out of £1billion Swansea city centre regeneration
PROPERTY development firm Hammerson has pulled out of its co-operation agreement with Swansea Council to develop the city.
Five years ago the firm, which was responsible for building Birmingham's Bullring development, was revealed as one of the partners who would take part in a £1 billion redevelopment of the city centre.
In 2008 Hammerson was initially selected alongside residential developer Urban Splash to redevelop the site which includes the former St David's centre and car parks, with early plans including retail, leisure and 1,000 residential units.
Urban Splash pulled out in 2009 when the residential element was removed from the plans.
However, Hammerson has also walked away from the scheme and the council is undertaking a major review to find a new approach to developing the city centre.
Hammerson, which owns the city's Parc Tawe retail and leisure site, will continue to work with the authority on developing Parc Tawe. A planning application due to be submitted for the site will include a new anchor tenant, new restaurants, an environmental upgrade and better pedestrian links with the city centre.
A spokesman for Hammerson said: "The decision not to renew the co-operation agreement with Swansea Council is a mutual one, but through our ownership and management of Parc Tawe we remain a significant investor in Swansea and we will continue to work with the council."
Swansea Council said it will now start the search for an alternative development partner.
Nick Bradley, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "We've been working closely with Hammerson for some time but it's become clear their model for redeveloping the city centre has had to change due to the current economic climate and it no longer fits with our ambitions.
"The traditional retail model isn't working so we need to find a different solution and the time is right for the council to work with other developers to achieve our ambition and deliver a model that works for Swansea."