Salford Precinct has been sold to Praxis Holdings Ltd, "an off shore commercial property and investment company" that doesn't particularly specialise in wazzing up shopping precincts but does specialise in "the exploitation of planning gain and change of use and further development angles"…
Is Praxis going to do up the Precinct or run it down further and flog it off for its land value at a later date? These are the questions, perhaps, we should be asking.
If you look at the Precinct in the context of what's going on around the area, bulldozing it might make more commercial sense to an exploitative developer.
Firstly, you've got Tescos coming in at some point in the near future, which (as has been seen in other areas) will kill loads of trade on the Precinct, maybe forcing shops and market stalls to close.
Secondly, you've got this huge PFI redevelopment/regeneration of Pendleton going off, which (as has been seen in other areas of Salford) will force the local community out to build a place fit for yuppies.
Thirdly, the area is being linked in with plans for MediaCityUK, the tarting up of Chapel Street and the expansion of Manchester city centre.
Add all this together and the Precinct is looking like a blot on the planners/ developers' shiny new re-design of the area into some kind of Knightsbridge, or, as Salford URC label it a "beautiful, vibrant prosperous" city.
The last time they tried to do up the area they built the Precinct, only half finished it and wrecked the place in the process. But that's never stopped any developer trying to make a profit has it? These people work on 40 year plans and if there's a sniff of a financial killing they're in.
Gazing into my crystal ball I see the Precinct run down, knocked down and sold for its land value as a soulless `retail park'.
Yesterday, the Evening News quoted Councillor John Warmisham saying "These are exciting times for Pendleton…We hope that the new owners of Salford precinct will work with us to bring the best possible retailers into the city."
The MEN added underneath… `Praxis Holdings declined to comment'.
I wonder why?