Developers Hammerson and Westfield have joined forces on a £1 billion regeneration of Croydon’s retail centre.
Under the new joint venture agreement, Westfield and Hammerson plan to redevelop and combine the two main Croydon shopping centres, the Whitgift Centre and Centrale.
The mixed-use scheme covering around 200,000 m sq will include retail units, leisure facilities and residential units, with the potential for hotels and offices.
Planning consent could be secured in 2013, with construction expected to start on site in 2015. The scheme is expected to create more than 5,000 jobs.
A joint management company will have responsibility for development, leasing and asset management of the completed scheme.
Westfield will undertake the design and construction of the project.
Hammerson will continue to asset manage Centrale and any further acquisitions prior to the development of the Whitgift Centre.
London mayor 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.”
Hammerson chief executive David Atkins said by working together “we can deliver a world-class scheme for retailers and residents”.
Westfield chairman Frank Lowy AC said the 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”.
As part of the JV, Westfield has acquired a 50 per cent interest in the £115 million Centrale shopping centre from Hammerson.
The venture will also purchase a 25 per cent interest in the Whitgift Centre, following completion of Hammerson’s conditional acquisition agreement with Royal London.