Westfield Croydon plans take fresh twist

By Helen Roxburgh - Tuesday, December 06, 2011 12:01

Westfield’s plans for a major redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre in Croydon face further complications after it emerged that two of the principal stakeholders in the mall met to discuss their plans for the development without involving the Australian developer.

The 1.2m sq ft mall has a complex ownership structure. Royal London Asset Management and the Irish Bank Resolution Corp are the long leasholders of the site while the Whitgift Foundation charity is the freeholder, and owns a 25% stake in the long leasehold.

Westfield announced that it had entered into an exclusive arrangement to redevelop the Croydon site with the Whitgift Foundation in November.

Since then there have been a number of reports suggesting that the deal was far from cemented, however, with RLAM issuing a statement saying it had had not been consulted on the deal.

According to Reuters, meetings between RLAM and the IBRC during the last week have considered inviting other parties to bid as development partner on the retail asset.

Westfield said it is continuing to talk to the stakeholders involved and “seek to bring this much anticipated project to fruition."

The Whitgift Foundation has said that it welcomes the agreement with Westfield which will help to bring about regeneration in the town.

The shopping centre is 41 years old and is anchored by Marks & Spencer and Allders with River Island, Clas Ohlson, H&M, Topshop, J. Sainsbury, Mothercare and Waterstones.

Vale Retail and Jones Lang LaSalle advise the Whitgift Foundation on the leasing for the retail at the centre. Savills and Stiles Harold Williams advise on the offices.

hroxburgh@costar.co.uk

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