Croydon town centre set for £1billion regeneration
A legal battle for control over the shopping centres of Croydon has been settled with both parties - Hammerson and Westfield – entering a joint regeneration venture worth £1bn.
The agreement will transform Croydon’s two main shopping centres, the Whitgift Centre and Centrale, into 200,000m2 of mixed use space including retail, leisure, residential, and office space, with satellite sites also in line for regeneration.
The joint venture marks the end of a years’ worth of legal wrangling, with Westfield settling for 50% interest in the £115m Centrale shopping centre from Hammerson, and a joint 25% stake in Whitgift Centre following the completion of the latter’s conditional acquisition agreement with Royal London.
Over the coming weeks, both parties will meet with shareholders for preparation talks on the proposed development strategy of the program. Plans for the £1bn regeneration scheme are set to be finalised by 2013, with construction earmarked for 2015.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, along with the chairmen of Westfield and Hammerson, convened at a press conference held today at Fairfield Halls in Croydon. Speaking at the conference Mr Johnson welcomed the conclusion of the joint venture agreement, and regeneration of Croydon’s retail centres.
He said: "Croydon has huge potential to return to its former glory as one of London's most vibrant town centres, and a major driver of its economy. The redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre at its heart is crucial to this vision," said Mayor of London Boris Johnson.
"We have shown our commitment to Croydon through our existing investments in the town centre and I believe that by working together we can deliver a world class scheme for retailers and residents. Both we and Westfield remain excited and convinced by the opportunity in Croydon, which we can now progress with clarity," added David Atkins, Chief Executive of Hammerson.
The joint venture agreement builds on recent positive developments in London’s commercial property market, which has been enjoying record success in recent months. Today, SOS reported on Google’s substantial investment plan to regenerate over two acres of unused industrialised space adjoining Kings Cross. Over £1bn is set to be injected into the area, as London continues to buck the trend of national property markets.