A former Essex Debenhams store is set to be converted into a new shopping center under new plans.

Aklu Plaza will be a three-story mall with a supermarket, restaurants, shops and 35,000 square feet of event space and a wedding hall.

The former Debenhams building was sold to private investors in London for more than £ 12 million in 2019 and has now been taken over by Aklu Plaza Ltd, led by brothers Aklu and Hassan Miah.

Read more: EssexLive shopping news

There have been a lot of rumors about what would happen to the 200,000 square foot retail location, but a website for Aklu Plaza popped online earlier this month, revealing exciting new plans for the space.

A “Home Superstore” with housewares, furniture and groceries is to be built on the ground floor, while shopping facilities, restaurants and a stand for a food court will be built on the first floor.

A children’s play area, a prayer room, furniture and exclusive living accessories are promised on the second floor; an event room, a ballroom and a wedding hall with 1500 seats are to be built on the upper floor.

More than 25 job vacancies were posted online, including roles in customer service, delivery, and security.

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According to the website, the organization started with Shadwell Grocers on Watney Street, Whitechapel in 1987 before growing into a small chain

In 2004, the company’s growth led Aklu Miah to open Mas Bazar nearby, while his younger brother Hassan founded Kacha Bazar in 2007.

The bazaars have since expanded to include Whitechapel, Birmingham and Bethnal Green.

Aklu Plaza Chairman Aklu Miah wrote on the website: “I want to welcome everyone to our new and largest company, Aklu Plaza (formerly Debenhams) in the heart of Romford Shopping Center.”

He added, “We have endeavored for over 30 years to provide our customers with high quality choices and value for money. Aklu Plaza will offer numerous options, good value for money and excellent service under one roof. “

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