Westfield owner confirms purchase of Hammerson's Croydon development stake
As widely expected, the French owner of the Westfield malls chain — Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield — has confirmed that it has acquired the outstanding share of the Croydon Partnership from UK property giant Hammerson.
URW has completed the acquisition of Hammerson’s 50% stake in the venture, which is a 10 hectare parcel of land that includes the Whitgift and Centrale shopping centres, as well as high street retail frontage, office blocks and multi-storey car parks in South London.
Hammerson hadn’t mentioned the deal in a trading update on the same day URW announced it. And neither party put a price on the sale.
The UK business has been selling off properties — including development projects — under pressure from shareholders as it seeks to improve its financial performance and focus on its strong core portfolio.
URW CEO Jean-Marie Tritant said: “Urban regeneration projects are at the heart of URW’s purpose to create sustainable places that reinvent being together, and we are very excited about what can be achieved in Croydon. With our full ownership of the property, it allows URW to work in partnership with the Mayor of Croydon, the Greater London Authority and other vital local stakeholders on a vision and options that support the wider transformation of the area.”
And Croydon’s Mayor Jason Perry added that the regeneration of Croydon town centre “remains a top priority and I have been working closely with businesses and partners to bring forward the redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre and wider regeneration of the town centre”.
He welcomed the latest step as being important in getting things moving and said a “new masterplan” will be developed this year. It will “inform a new, revised application for the town centre that will meet the future needs of our community”.
And he cited the success of URW’s redevelopments in White City and East London that resulted in the Westfield London and Westfield Stratford mega-malls.
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