Westfield unveils plans for third mega-centre in Croydon
4 July, 2012
Shopping centre giant Westfield will this week unveil plans for a £1bn mega-mall based on the Whitgift centre in Croydon.
The plans are the next stage in the ongoing saga over the future of the Whitgift, which has been subject to rival interest from property developer Hammerson.
Westfield’s plans (pictured in an artist’s impression) would turn the centre into a third major London venue to go with Shepherds Bush in west London and Stratford in the east—both of which have provided opportunities for dozens of casual dining brands. They would triple the size of the Whitgift centre, and open up space for more restaurants as well as a cinema, bowling alley and retail space, plus hundreds of new homes and car parking.
Westfield will put its plans out to public consultation in Croydon for four days from tomorrow (5 July)—giving businesses and the public an opportunity to inspect and comment on them. Development director John Burton said: “Together with the Whitgift Foundation, our plans are to bring a world class centre to Croydon, which deserves a retail solution that meets the needs of its local residents and businesses without compromising on quality and style. Our plans will bring an outstanding shopping, leisure and residential development to Croydon and will kickstart the wider regeneration of the town.”
Hammerson continues to pursue its own plans for the Whitfgift, which include a link-up with its own Centrale mall. While Westfield has the support of the Whitfift Foundation, Hammerson has the backing of the area’s leaseholders—and untangling the disagreement over ownership means that any development plans could be some way off being actioned. Whitgift is using its success at Shepherds Bush and Stratford to try to gain momentum for its bid, and is likely to have the backing of restaurants eager for the new opportunity.
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