Croydon to house Britain’s biggest shopping mall….On a cold wet January day this year, Boris Johnson took to the streets of Croydon heralding the success of a new deal to build the UK’s largest shopping mall in the south London borough.
Showing obvious excitement about the project, Mayor Johnson said that the mall would return Croydon to its former glory. The one billion pound project marks a landmark agreement between two of London’s biggest retail developers, Hammerson and Westfield, which plan to have the mall finished and open before the end of the decade.
Although it has to be said that the two retail developer giants involved in the project were not always so friendly towards one another, having spent a long time jostling over who should have sole rights over the development.
In managing to create an amicable collaboration, Mayor Boris Johnson and City Hall should take a lot of credit in the way that they brought the two rival companies together.
Croydon was once one of the richest boroughs’s of London. Although the riots in 2011 showed fairly demonstratively just how much Croydon had regressed and gone downhill. The burning and destruction of the House of Reeves furniture store became symbolic of the whole country’s shameful slide into anarchy.
The deal, which we should thank Boris and his team for, looks set to put things right for Croydon and the people of the borough. The new shopping mall project is forecast to create 5,000 new jobs, and new jobs nowadays are, of course, welcomed with open arms.
It has now been agreed that Westfield will build the mall and Hammerson will manage it when it is built. In a press conference released earlier this year, Boris Johnson jokingly likened himself to a vicar in his, marrying the two companies together.
He said that the union would turn Croydon into the economic powerhouse of South London. Australian Frank Lowy, a spokesperson for Westfield, said that it was no secret that Westfield wanted to do the development by themselves but accepted the situation in typical Australian fashion by adding: “We’ve got to get on with the bloody job!”