Hammerson and Westfield join forces in £1 billion transformation of Croydon
Croydon town centre is set to be transformed by a £1 billion investment after retail developers Hammerson and Westfield agreed to enter into a 50/50 joint venture to develop the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres.
The two companies had been working with the Mayor of London, in his role as London’s Strategic Planning Authority, and with Croydon Council on separate proposals for the shopping centres. However, they have now agreed to work together on the £1 billion regeneration scheme.
Once a planning application has been approved, it is expected that the projects will create thousands of jobs during the construction phase and a further 5,000 long term jobs after completion.
Frank Lowy, chairman of Westfield, said: "The £1 billion redevelopment joint venture with Hammerson will provide certainty for the residents, local businesses and retailers of Croydon and the region. The delivery of a major retail regeneration scheme will re-establish Croydon as South London’s premier shopping district and will be a catalyst to further investment and development in the Croydon borough."
David Atkins, chief executive of Hammerson, added: "We have shown our commitment to Croydon through our existing investments in the town centre and I believe that by working together with Westfield 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."
The announcement follows the Mayor’s approval this week of a new strategic planning framework for Croydon which includes measures to revive its high streets and retail centres.
Croydon is also receiving investment from the Mayor’s £50 million Outer London Fund which is designed to grow economic activity and drive employment in parts of London that have benefitted less directly from infrastructure improvements such as Crossrail.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson 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.
"Westfield and Hammerson’s innovative developments have breathed new life into long neglected corners of cities across the country, creating thousands of jobs and delivering growth that will soon be repeated in south London.
"It is great news that these two international developers are coming together to drive forward this vital regeneration and put Croydon at the heart of London’s future prosperity, building confidence for investors and local people in one of the capital’s most important town centres."
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