Final tenant moves in to major retail park

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BED specialist Dreams has moved into the remaining unit at a York retail park, marking the end of an 11-year involvement by the developers.

Foss Islands Retail Park was developed by Keyland Gregory, a joint venture between Keyland and Gregory Property Group, on a former council depot site and is believed to be one of the largest retail parks built within the last three years in the north of England.

Dreams, which opened in York as part of its 1m investment in the region, joins Morrisons, Homebase, Kutchenhaus, Pets at Home, Home Sense and Frankie & Benny's on the 180,000 sq ft scheme.

The developers have had to overcome a number of hurdles since they started working on the scheme 11 years ago, including complex and time-consuming land assembly, contamination issues and the relocation of the waste depot as well as the creation of a link road between James Street and Heworth Green.

John Foster, of law firm Shulmans, said: "It was one of the most complicated and fascinating legal deals I have ever had to work on, involving eight different land holdings which all had to be assembled and purchased at the same time.

Richard Tovey, of Keyland Gregory, added: "Regenerating one of the largest major brownfield sites in York centre was never going to be an easy, but as well as creating more than 200 much-needed jobs, the development revitalised a former run-down part of the city and brought excellent new facilities for the city of York."

"Foss Islands is a great example of how imaginative property deals can bring long-lasting benefits all round for the local population."

The development was forward purchased by AXA in April 2006.