Westfield buys listed building for events as retailers rush to open on time for £600m expansion

By Paul Norman - Wednesday, March 07, 2018 14:35

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Westfield has bought the Grade II listed landmark DIMCO building at its Westfield London shopping centre from Transport for London as it pushes on with plans to create a 33,000 sq ft leisure and events space at the heart of a new civic square leading into the mall’s £600m expansion, which launches later this month.

Westfield has paid an undisclosed price for the DIMCO building, which was built in 1899 originally to house the engine house and boiler house at the Wood Lane generating station supplying energy for Central London Railways.

Westfield has lodged plans to convert the buildings into around 33,000 sq ft of events space that would sit adjacent to the new Westfield Square and close to Wood Lane tube station. Part of the space recently hosted fashion designer Christopher Bailey’s final collection for Burberry.

Westfield will open the first phase of development including around 30 of the circa 90 new stores on March 20. The extension including 740,000 sq ft of retail will turn Westfield London into the largest shopping centre destination in Europe as well as adding significant offices and residential.

The 230,000 sq ft full line John Lewis that anchors the scheme will open, alongside a 64,000 sq ft H&M and flagship Adidas.

Space NK (820 sq ft ) and the beauty store Urban Decay (1,856 sq ft), as well as women’s lingerie retailer Bravissimo (4,800 sq ft), will be joined by men’s fashion brands Frencheye (1,302 sq ft) and Emperor (581 sq ft), with the latter launching its first store in the UK. Currys PC World will open a 8,320 sq ft store while Chinese fashion brand Urban Revivo’s flagship 22,000 sq ft store, its first outside of Asia, will also open.

In addition Europe’s largest (17,400 sq ft) Japanese Food Hall, Ichiba, and the first in a new generation of boutique bowling venues for All Star Lanes (16,910 sq ft) will also open within the expansion which has been designed to consolidate the centre’s position.

Other companies set to open bigger and better stores or new stores at the scheme include Stradivarius, Lush, Mango, River Island, Boots, UGG, Cath Kidston, Pret A Manger, Guess, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Tiger, Jack & Wills, Khaadi, the White Company and Monsoon.

Primark’s 70,000 sq ft store will open at a midsummer second phase launch alongside another circa 30 stores, while the final 30 or so stores will open at the grand launch in October.

Around 800,000 sq ft of offices are being developed above the Primark store.

The expansion has allowed Westfield to respond to retailer demand to grow their footprint with a number of existing brands taking the opportunity to open larger stores within the expansion, whilst others have taken the opportunity to create newly configured space.

Zara created the brand’s largest shop in the UK (42,000 sq ft) as part of Westfield’s new concept – The High Street of Flagships.

The Primark store is part of a further enhancement to the development which recently received planning permission and includes further restaurants and offices that will also be completed and open ahead of the 10th anniversary later in 2018.

The expansion of Westfield London will create an extra 740,000 sq ft of retail, dining, entertainment and leisure, bringing the total gross leasable area (GLA) to 2.6m sq ft and number of stores from 360 to 450.

It also includes around 1500 homes which Westfield is planning to develop via a mix of build to rent and market rent. The first phase of residential development – an 89 home affordable homes scheme – is close to completion with a Registered Provider set to be unveiled.

Nash Bond and CBRE are advising.

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