WORK TO START ON NEW SHOPS.
CONTRACTORS have been signed up to build the new shopping complex on the site of Liverpool's OldPost Office.
Carrillion, the company which carried out the restoration of the Albert Dock, is expected to start work on the the pounds 70mMet Quarter in September.
More than 250 jobs will be created on site.
Developer Milligan is planning a Christmas 2005 opening for the centre, which is described as a ``covered streets'' design.
It is on the site of the former Victoria Street post office which has been derelict for 20 years and which is on the ECHO's Stop theRot hit list.
Milligan boss John Milligan said: ``We'vebeen talking to potential contractors who can work with us on this,and in the last 24 hours we have made a decision.
``We'recurrently finalising the deal with Carillion which is good news as we expect it to create local jobs.
``There will be around 250 working on the site,and with consultants and other people the figure is closer to 300.''
The outer walls of the Victorian post office will be retained and a new glass front -designed by Edmund Kirby architects -will be built facing on to Whitechapel.
Shops on the second floor are double height with a mezzanine level.
Last month the ECHO revealed that international fashion house Armani was taking a 6,500sqft store in the three-storey centre.
Designer retailer Flannels and shoe store Timberland are also on board, while Milligan is talking to a series of other names.
Mr Milligan revealed today he was currently in negotiations with two ladies shoes retailers.
Carillion has an annual turnover of pounds 2bn and employs 20,000 people.
NEW LOOK: The city's old post office; Picture: FRANK LOUGHLIN