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LONDON-Upmarket department store operator John Lewis will anchor two of the UK’s biggest retail regeneration schemes.

The retailer has signed heads of terms for the two stores at Grosvenor’s £750-million ($1.3-billion) Paradise Street development in Liverpool and Hammerson’s New Retail Quarter in Sheffield.

The company already has outlets in both cities but is looking for better quality retail space. The new stores will total 240,000 sf and will replace the existing John Lewis outlets in Liverpool and Sheffield.

The Paradise Street project is being development by the Duke of Westminster’s Grosvenor Estates and comprises 1.6m sf of retail space, 230,000 sf of leisure and 364 residential units. The scheme is intended to ink to Liverpool’s office core which is closer to the waterfront and the retail pitch.

Sheffield’s £400-million ($669.8-million) development will include 800,000 sf of retail on a 20-acre site. It will comprise more than 100 new shops, leisure facilities, restaurants and residential units. John Lewis is expected to open in 2009.

John Lewis managing director Luke Mayhew says: “We have no doubt that the urban regeneration companies and the local authorities will deliver the step change necessary for both these cities to regain their position as the primary shopping destinations within their regions.”

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