Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Mammoth optimism over London's new giant mall

Does London need another mammoth shopping centre? Developers Westfield certainly think so, despite the severe economic downturn.

The Australian firm claims a plethora of 'household' high street retail giants will open large outlets at its Stratford City development currently being built next to the Olympic Park in east London. 

River Island, Boots, Next and Primark have agreed to join Westfield Stratford City's 'anchor' tenants, Marks & Spencer, John Lewis and Waitrose. The new development is due to open in autumn 2011.

Westfield’s £1.45 billion transformation of 136 acres of Stratford's former railway lands includes a three-storey mall housing over 300 retailers, 50 bars and restaurants and a 12-screen cinema.

Westfield claims its will be Europe’s largest shopping mall - bigger than Westfield's current massive shopping centre at Shepherds Bush/White City in west London. The hope is the east London mall will generate 30,000 jobs, provide 5,000 homes for 11,000 people and offer 2,000 hotel rooms. 

The new Westfield at Stratford City will connect with Stratford Regional station and Stratford’s existing town centre via a £25 million Town Centre Link Bridge. 

Photo, courtesy of Westfield, shows mall in centre with Link Bridge (left) and Stratford International Station, served by high speed and Docklands Light Railway trains (right); Aquatic Centre and Olympic Stadium and rest of London (top).

Paul Coleman, London, May 2010

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