Preferred bidder for Debenhams announced

Leeds-based award-winning developer St James Securities Limited has today been announced as the preferred bidder for the purchase of the former Debenhams building in the Becketwell area of Derby city centre which could be transformed into a significant residential and commercial development.

Deputy Leader of Derby City Council, Martin Rawson, made the announcement this morning at the Derby City Embassy event at MIPIM in France, saying “St James Securities has an excellent track record of regenerating challenging sites across the country so we are keen to harness this expertise to transform the Becketwell area.”

Paul Morris, Director of St James Securities said “This is such an exciting opportunity to regenerate Becketwell and stimulate the renewal of the wider St Peters Quarter of Derby, with major benefits to the economic, social and environmental fabric of the area.”

John Forkin, Marketing Derby, said “Having met the St James Securities team on a number of occasions we believe they are the real deal. They bring fresh eyes, the ambition and experience needed to finally develop Debenhams, acting as a catalyst for the wider Becketwell site.” 

St James Securities has a track record of changing the dynamics of city centres as destinations and bringing new life to them. Their proposals for the Derby site -  a regeneration priority within Derby’s city centre masterplan - would see a mix of residential and commercial space replacing the former Debenhams store and improvements to the public realm. Paul Morris at St James Securities said: “Our vision brings together commercial viability and deliverability with striking and contemporary architecture, all integrated with quality public realm.”

They have been granted a 12-month period of exclusivity for the Derby site during which the details of the deal will be worked up.

Among St James Securities’ achievements are the regeneration of St Paul’s Place in Sheffield, the Round Foundry, Leeds which won the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) award for International Regeneration Project of the Year and Waterfront, Wakefield.