Fringe Box



Tunsgate Quarter Has Only One Third of Its Units Let As Opening Nears

How the redeveloped Tunsgate Quarter is exp[ected to look from the High Street. Existing tenants Clarks (currently temporarily relocated) and T M Lewin will remain in place.

With only two months to go before its postponed opening, developers of the high-end shopping development Tunsgate Quarter have only nine tenants to occupy the 26 retail and restaurant units.

The website for the development shows only four of the units let but a spokesperson for the developers confirmed today (December 12, 2017) that the floorplans on the website were out of date; they do not appear to have changed since March. The new upmarket shopping centre is due to open in February.

The floorplans on the developer’s website show only four units let – but the plans are said to be out of date.

Existing traders in Tunsgate who have suffered considerable loss of trade and disruption during the development project and the simultaneous work to pedestrianise Tunsgate, fear a further delay.

Stuart Harris, commercial director and co-founder at Queensberry was asked whether his company was concerned that so many units remain unlet, whether it would be reducing rents to attract further tenants and whether it was still confident that the opening will be in February.

An artist’s impression of how the interior of Tunsgate Quarter, due to open in February 2018, will look.

He said: “Tunsgate Quarter has confirmed that The Ivy Collection, OKA, The White Company, Bobbi Brown, Loaf, Cath Kidston and lululemon will be joining Clarks and TM Lewin at the centre.

Stuart Harris

“Our strategy is to secure high-quality lifestyle brands; creating the right retail and restaurant mix is key to ensuring the long-term success of Tunsgate Quarter. The interest and commitment from these brands is testament to the sophisticated new retail and dining offer that is being created at Tunsgate Quarter.

“Several retailers have begun fitting out their stores and we will be announcing our opening date in the new year, scheduled for spring 2018. In the meantime, we’re working closely with Guildford Borough Council, which is currently carrying out public realm and road improvements on Tunsgate.

“When complete, the improved public realm on Tunsgate will provide an inviting, pedestrianised entrance to businesses along this road and to Tunsgate Quarter.”

Cllr Matt Furniss

At a recent council meeting, Cllr Matt Furniss said that any claim for recompense for loss of business, by affected traders in Tunsgate, was a matter for them to take up with the developers but he expressed sympathy for their plight and some disappointment over the project delays.

In March this year Queensberry said they were confident that they are progressing in line with project plans and, unless unforeseen issues emerged, work would be completed by the expected deadline of October 2017.

But in August Stuart Harris said: “Due to the complex nature of the build and the desire to open the scheme fully finished, and to the highest specification, we have decided to defer the opening of Tunsgate Quarter until February 2018.

Surprisingly, high-end retailer Barbour, who was part of the old Tunsgate Square and who is understood to have been keen to be part of the new development, could not reach agreement with Queensberry.

Stuart Harris, said: “Queensberry was in discussion with Barbour about taking space at the new Tunsgate Quarter. However, the brand has chosen to move into a unit on the High Street. Although disappointed with this decision we are excited by ongoing discussions with other top brands that we know will appeal to local customers.”

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