VIDEO: Mayor of London Boris Johnson announces £1bn redevelopment of Croydon town centre
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said he was "overjoyed two illustrious retail giants had come together in this way" as he officially announced the £1bn redevelopment of Croydon town centre by Westfield and Hammerson.
The rival developers who were in deadlock over the redevelopment, confirmed they would work together to bring 5,000 new jobs to the town as part of their new proposals to develop and combine the Whitgift Centre and Centrale.
The joint venture wil purchase a 25 percent interest in the Whitgift Centre following completion of Hammerson's conditional acquisition agreement with Royal London.
Westfield will also acquire a 50 percent interest in the £115 million Centrale shopping centre from Hammerson.
Speaking at the press conference this afternoon, Mr Johnson added: "This is a momentous and a surprising day because we all saw what happened in the summer of 2011 and it was so obvious then what needed to happen to happen to regenerate Croydon.
"I was absolutely overjoyed to hear the news that two illustrious retail giants, both with very distinguished histories of urban regeneration, have decided to come together in this way.
"It will help to turn Croydon into an even greater place to live, to shop, to do business and to invest in. Our job in the Mayor's office is to encourage and do everything that we can.
"We will use our CPO powers and we will continue to support with urban realm improvements."
Westfield Chairman Frank Lowy, said: "It is not a secret that we each would have liked to have done this by ourselves but life takes various turns and you have got to be a pragmatist.
"We are very proud to share the stage with Hammersons and we will work together for the benefit of Croydon and our shareholders."
John Nelson, Hammerson’s chairman described the day as "poignant."
He said: "I was born in Croydon in the late 1940s, I was brought up here in the 50s and 60s, I lived in east Croydon and I lived in south croydon.
"It is clear and obvious to anyone who lives here that Croydon town centre is in urgent need of very substantial investment and between Westfield and ourselves we are going to put £1bn on the table.
"I believe this is an extraordinary opportunity to regenerate a town that is very close to the centre of my heart."