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LONDON-Capital Shopping Centres is paying euro 65 million ($86.6 million) for a further 15% stake in Eldon Square Shopping Centre in Newcastle upon Tyne. A statement by the company notes that CSC now has a 45% stake in the center. Shell Pension Fund retains a 15% interest in the retail asset and the remaining 40% is owned by the City of Newcastle.

CSC, Shell and the City of Newcastle have been partners in the asset since its development in the early 1970s. Final planning consent has now been granted for three major improvement schemes that together will provide 468,000 sf of new retail.

The plans provide for a bus station and new mall at the northern end of Eldon Square; a revitalized Old Eldon Square with additional shops and outward-facing restaurants and improvements to the public realm; and the Southern Gateway scheme, which includes a 175,000-sf department store and large-format shops to meet retail demand. Construction on the first phase is anticipated to start in 2005.

Eldon Square is the focal point of shopping in Newcastle upon Tyne city centre. An early example of retail-led, mixed-use development, it already has 961,000 sf of retail, with 149 shops, cafes and restaurants, bus and Metro stations, a 76,000-foot market hall and integrated leisure facilities, together with 37,000 sf of offices and some apartments.

The scheme is anchored by John Lewis and Fenwick department stores with Marks & Spencer attached to the mall.

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