Croydon Council has welcomed a commitment by the John Lewis Partnership to be an anchor in the £1.4bn redevelopment of The Whitgift Shopping Centre.
The retail giant today (31 May) confirmed that they will open a new 165,000 sq ft, four-level John Lewis department store with a Waitrose supermarket on the ground floor in Croydon’s new world-class retail and leisure centre.
Work is set to start on this exciting project – a joint venture between Westfield and Hammerson known as The Croydon Partnership – in 2019, transforming Croydon’s town centre with over 300 shops, including a brand new M&S; restaurants, cafés; leisure facilities and a multi-screen cinema complex, while creating up to 7,000 jobs for local people and 1,000 new homes.
“This is great news for Croydon. John Lewis’s decision to be part of the £1.4bn redevelopment of The Whitgift Shopping Centre demonstrates their confidence in Croydon’s regeneration, its infrastructure and its growth and most importantly, as a place that people want to be. With several major regeneration projects already well under way – from our stunning new cultural quarter, to the Taberner House development creating hundreds of affordable homes – Croydon’s growth is no longer a vision; it is very much a reality. We look forward to work getting under way in 2019 and to welcoming John Lewis and an upgraded Waitrose to our town centre.”
Councillor Tony Newman, leader of the council
Councillor Alison Butler, Deputy Leader for Croydon Council, said: “This confidence from John Lewis and Waitrose is the confidence we are seeing increasingly from investors who are keen to be part of Croydon’s growth and its future, with immense benefits for local people. Croydon’s new retail and leisure centre will deliver 7,000 new jobs for local people in the construction, retail and leisure industries, as well as nearly 1,000 new homes in our town centre. We look forward to work getting under way and to the wealth of opportunities this exciting project will bring to our local community.”
John Burton, Head of Development, Westfield Europe, said: “The Croydon Partnership is delighted to deliver two of the UK’s leading brands. This is a major milestone and is a demonstration of the strength of Croydon and the project. John Lewis is the most requested addition to the town centre and its arrival will ensure Croydon’s future as the retail and leisure capital for South London.”
Peter Cole, Chief Investment Officer, Hammerson, said: “The decision by John Lewis and Waitrose to open anchor stores in Croydon town centre highlights the importance of this growing regional catchment and the desire from leading retailers to have a significant presence in the town. Over the coming months we are looking to make further progress with the land assembly process ahead of commencing detailed design and the pre-letting of the scheme.”
Craig Inglis, Customer Director at John Lewis, said: “We are delighted to be opening a new full-line department store in the newly developed centre, offering the services and products for which we are well known. This exciting new shop will showcase our latest thinking in shop design, creating a modern space for shoppers with customer experience at its heart.”
Ben Stimson, Retail Director at Waitrose, said: “This is an exciting opportunity to bring the Waitrose and John Lewis brands together under one roof as part of a state-of-the-art retail and leisure destination and reinforces our commitment to Croydon’s future.”
The £1.4bn redevelopment proposal for the Whitgift Shopping Centre by the Croydon Partnership was unanimously given the green light by members of the council’s planning committee last November.
The Partnership’s plans were first granted planning permission in February 2014, but last October an enhanced outline planning application was submitted featuring some key revisions, including more housing, a third level of retail and leisure and a new flagship Marks and Spencer store.
Croydon Council has been working closely with the Croydon Partnership, the Greater London Authority (GLA) and the Minister for London to ensure the scheme continues to progress as quickly as possible.