Columbia Threadneedle Investments has declined to comment on plans for a massive mixed-use redevelopment in central Reading the developer is promoting in a video on its website.

The investor owns 14 retail units stretching from Pret A Manger to Hotter Shoes on the north side of Broad Street as well as units in Friar Street and Union Street including those occupied by Sub 89, Popworld and Sam99p, and has produced a video illustrating possibilities for a radical mixed-use development that will include up to 150 flats and new retail units.

The developer said it would not comment to Thames Tap while the scheme is ‘in the planning process’.

The development would benefit from the new public realm to be created at Station Hill which would provide it with a pedestrian link to the station.

In the video, Paul Hewitt, project manager with building consultancy Cogent BC, filmed in Broad Street, says there is a need for retailers there to ‘right size’. He adds: “And it’s absolutely critical that we look at where retail’s going and make sure that we reposition these assets so they’re right for the future.”

Gerry Frewin, director and fund manager for Columbia Threadneedle Investments, says: “We’ve got a fully let, income-producing retail piece – 14 units let to 11 retailers – they are thriving. And what’s more we are unlocking an add-value scheme by looking at extending the upper parts in up to 150 or so residential dwellings.”

The video shows Savills and CGL Architects are part of the team working on the project.

Watch the video here.

Any development is unlikely to be imminent. Threadneedle UK Property Authorised Investment Fund secured permission in October to amalgamate two Broad Street units to allow JD Sports to extend into the former River Island unit next door to create one 1,010 sq m shop.

* Image (top): Google. Below: The temporary store JD is taking while it prepares to expand, courtesy of Peter Robinson.

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