Nabarro Nathanson's London and Sheffield offices are working on one of the UK's largest retail schemes after client Hammerson was chosen to develop Sheffield's £350m new retail quarter.
Hammerson competed against SJ Berwin client British Land Company and Dutch group MDC to become the preferred development partner for the scheme. Nabarros clients Westfield Holdings and Land Securities dropped out earlier in the process. Herbert Smith is acting for Sheffield Council and urban regeneration company Sheffield One. Real estate partner Patrick Robinson is leading the team. Nabarros real estate partner Simon Staite is leading the team for Hammerson. Hammerson brought Nabarros in at the second stage of the selection process, when bidders had to present their relevant experience to the panel. Staite said his experience acting for Hammerson on another of its major retail projects - the Oracle in Reading - was key to this latest appointment by the property company. "We advised on all areas, from the acquisition, planning and joint venturing to the letting of the Oracle, which cost £230m," said Staite. The Oracle was presented as a case study to the selection panel for the Sheffield scheme. Staite is now putting together a Nabarros team to work on the Sheffield project, which will necessitate the inclusion of planning, compulsory purchase and public sector expertise. He will draw on fee-earners in both the London and Sheffield offices. "It's really about to kick off now that the appointment has been made," said Staite. "Our client and the council are well progressed in their relationship and what they want to achieve, but in terms of lawyering it's still early days." One of the team's first key steps will be to work up a planning application for the 800,000sq ft scheme. The firm is also advising on similar projects underway in Bristol and Birmingham.