Published: 10:53, 14 July 2017
Starbucks, the American coffee giant, is moving to Strood Retail Park.
The largest coffeehouse in the world will be taking up the final unit on the former B & Q site alongside the Marks and Spencer Foodhall which is due to open next month.
The cafe will also be joined by discount store B&M, Maplins electronic specialists and The Gym which will operate 24 hours -all of which are due to start trading soon.
All five units are now complete in the £6 million contract and have been handed over to the tenants to be fitted out.
The new businesses will extend the range of shopping for consumers at the park, which is already home to Next, Argos, Brantano, Carpetright, Poundland, Matalan and KFC.
The project team ensured access to all existing stores was maintained throughout, and worked hard to reduce disruption during the car park upgrade and highways works.
The development also included works to reconfigure the highways access, car park layout and improve pedestrian access, to provide better links with Strood town centre.
Powell Williams, a national building consultancy oversaw the project from the beginning, appointing the team, managing the project from conception to completion, and undertaking the principal designer role on behalf of the client.
Company partner, Darren Ward said: “Practical completion of the construction phase brings the opening of these highly-anticipated new stores another step closer.
“The closure of B&Q provided the opportunity to rework the layout and make more of both the retail space and car park. Replacing one large unit with five smaller ones not only improves the lease potential and rental yield for the client, it provides significantly more choice for shoppers here at Strood.
“We’ve worked closely with the local council over the design of the car park and highways improvements to align with their plans for other local works, and which will hopefully be appreciated by users of the retail park. I’m pleased with the whole project team in delivering this scheme over the last 18 months, and look forward to seeing the stores open to customers soon.”
Paul Hillier, from the landowners of Ropemaker Properties Ltd, said: “We’ve invested £6m in extending and improving the retail offering at the Strood Retail Park and, thanks to the combined efforts of the construction, legal and lettings teams, feel we have achieved a high quality mix that complements the existing stores and provides a wealth of choice for shoppers in Strood.”
Starbucks has a cafe at the Dockside Outlet Cette and also runs a franchise at Chatham railway station.