Portsmouth: department store makes way for cinema, leisure and retail

Portsmouth: department store makes way for cinema, leisure and retail

A rooftop bar, cinema rooms and a hotel are part of updated plans for the Knight and Lee building in Southsea.

In January the John Lewis Partnership announced the store in Palmerston Road will close later this year after trading in the city for more than 100 years.

Property developer THAT Group, which bought the building, has been sharing more detailed plans for the department store.

Across the four floors, the developers also want spaces for co-working as well as retail units, restaurants, a bike workshop and ‘pop-up’ stores.

Cabinet member for planning, regeneration and economic development, Councillor Ben Dowling said: ‘I think this is a real opportunity to bring some vibrancy back into Palmerston Road and these plans will hopefully also help neighbouring shops.

‘It will be a real boost for the area and it is clear that THAT Group want to move quickly on these plans which is great as the last thing anybody wants is an empty boarded-up shop.

A public consultation took place earlier this year on the first draft proposal which included mixed office and retail space.

Many residents expressed positive feelings that the building would not be developed into housing.

Cllr Dowling added: ‘Lots of people were worried after John Lewis and also Debenhams announced closures as well as concern Knight and Lee was going to be turned into more student housing but THAT Group are clear that will not be the case.’

The developers previously told The News they want to submit plans and begin work by autumn this year.

To see the plans in full visit thatgroup-southsea.co.uk/proposals/

Source: The News

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