Tuesday 25 October 2016

Brent Cross Shopping Centre Moving £1.4bn Upgrade

Brent Cross Shopping Centre

The owners of Brent Cross has been unveiled a massive £1.4 billion bid to wrest back the title of London's leading mall from rivals Westfield.

The modernisation will more than double the size of the 40-year-old north London shopping centre — recently described as resembling "a nuclear power station from the Soviet era" — to 1.9 million square feet.

It sets up a "battle of the malls" be-tween British retail property giant Hammerson, the co-owner of Brent Cross, and Australia's Westfield, which runs prime sites in Shepherd's Bush and Stratford.

The Brent Cross upgrade is scheduled to be completed in 2022.

Mike McGuinness, Hammerson's development director for the site, said: "By 2022 Westfield London will be 14 years old and Westfield Stratford City 10 years old.

"We take the view that Brent Cross was the number one centre in 1976 and we feel we would like to make it number one again in a new era."

He claimed that the expanded centre will be the most advanced in the country, with tech specialists working alongside the property team to anticipate trends in digital shopping in six years time.

John Lewis and Fenwick will be re-tained as "anchor" department stores but a huge new Marks & Spencer will be built. In total there will be about 200 shops and the number of restaurants and cafes will rise from a handful of chain outlets in a small food court to as many as 50, including street food stalls on a "market level" on the upper floor. When Brent Cross opened as Britain's first big US-style mall in 1976 it had just two cafes. There will also be a cinema complex and a hotel. Opening hours are set to be extended to as late as midnight. The project forms part of a wider £4.5 billion regeneration of Cricklewood which includes almost 6,700 new homes as well as parks, offices, and community facilities.

There are plans for a pedestrian "green boulevard" crossing the North Circular Road that will allow shoppers to walk to and from the new town centre. Mr McGuinness said this would help alleviate the impression that Brent Cross — which is also close to the M1 and A1 — is enclosed in a "collar of concrete".

An exhibition on the proposals for residents and shoppers runs from November 3 to 8, ahead of a detailed planning application to Barnet council next spring.

Hammerson and Westfield are jointly building a shopping centre in Croydon, which is due to open in 2020.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.