Westfield eyes third London shopping mall

AUSTRALIAN developer Westfield is in exclusive talks to turn a south London shopping centre into a third mega-mall in the city.

The developer of the blue-chip Stratford City mall in east London and the Westfield London mall in Shepherd’s Bush said it was in talks with UK charity Whitgift Foundation to explore the possible redevelopment of Croydon’s 1.2m square feet Whitgift mall.

Whitgift Foundation owns the mall’s freehold while the leasehold is owned by companies including Irish Bank Resolution, formerly Anglo Irish bank, and Royal London Asset Management.

Croydon is a “strategic location” that could attract more than three million customers in an area that was “under-served by high quality retail and leisure facilities”, Westfield said in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

“The [Croydon] market is currently under-served by high quality retail and leisure facilities and is well known to be a target market for major retail groups in the UK.”

Mayor Boris Johnson welcomed the announcement and said: “I am delighted they are now looking south. Croydon has huge potential.”