Rivals reveal £1bn retail schemes for Croydon

Aaron Morby 12 years ago

Developer Hammerson showcased for the first time its £1bn plan to turn the centre of Croydon into a 1.6m sq ft shopping mecca last night.

Hammerson’s £1bn redevelopment scheme would create shops, restaurants, homes, a hotel, five public squares and new car park.

Central to the plan is the redevelopment of the Whitgift centre, which rival retail heavyweight Westfield also aims to secure as the site for its third major shopping mall in London.

The battle to win the hearts and minds of Croydon councillors holds out the promise of a major shopping centre complex that could advance quickly for the construction industry.

Hammerson wants to create a new shopping quarter by uniting its existing Centrale shopping centre, North End and a rebuilt Whitgift Centre.

The existing central tower on the Whitgift Centre would become a residential housing block surrounded by a three storey shopping centre.

Hammerson’s Croydon Alliance, a joint venture with Royal London Asset Management and IBRC Assurance Company, owns 75% of the leasehold of the Whitgift Centre.

Lawrence Hutchings, managing director of retail at Hammerson, said: “The Croydon Alliance’s plans are designed to make the centre of Croydon great again, restoring its position as a top UK shopping destination, and creating a safe and vibrant town centre where people want to spend their leisure time.

Earlier this month, Westfield unveiled its £1bn scheme for the Whitgift shopping centre. This, offers 1.5m sq ft of retail space, a multi-screen cinema, a bowling alley and 600 homes.

Westfield development director John Burton said: “In Croydon there are two very determined companies that want to do this scheme.

“Our approach is very similar to what we have done before. We are trying to emphasise to the council that we are ready, we are capable and we can write a cheque for £1 billion tomorrow. Who else in London could do that?”

Both plans will go out to public consultation before Croydon council and finally London Mayor Boris Johnson judge which scheme will finally go-ahead.

Westfield giant shopping mall

Heart of Hammerson shopping quarter

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