Pontypridd Taff Vale precinct 'demolished by autumn'
Full demolition of a shopping precinct in Pontypridd considered an eyesore by many residents has started and is expected to be completed by the autumn.
The Taff Vale centre is being replaced by a new multi-million pound shopping centre.
Developers said an anchor tenant has been secured, and the centre will be ready by the end of next summer
Construction will take about 12 months and begin soon after demolition.
Andy Crompton, of Riddelltps Limited, agents for developers Taff Vale Limited, said: "We aim to start [construction] as soon as possible after the demolition works have been completed. We're aiming to start by the autumn.
"We plan to complete the construction work within 12 months."
Mr Crompton said he was feeling very positive about the progress that had been made during a "challenging" economic period.
"We have now got an agreement in place with an anchor tenant and we expect to announce two further lettings shortly," he said.
"The tenant is going to be announced in the next couple of weeks.
"The fact we've signed to agree terms with national retailers and are in discussions with others speaks volumes for the scheme we're delivering."
The new development, to be called Riverside Shopping Centre, will provide 70,000sq ft (6,500sq m) of retail space providing six units and one restaurant/bar unit.
It is seen as an important part of rejuvenating the town after previous plans for the site over many years came to nothing.
A £10.5m scheme was announced last summer to regenerate Pontypridd town centre and help it attract private investment.
Buildings are to be revamped and improvements made to roads, pavements, lighting and street signs.