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Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:55 PM   #1
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Bradford | Westfield Bradford Shopping Centre | U/C

Broadway, Bradford/Westfield Bradford is a planned leisure and shopping complex in Bradford. The development is planned to encompass the site of Forster Square and major shopping street Broadway on a site encompassed by Hall Ings, Well Street, the new Lower Kirkgate and Charles Street.

Over 100 retailers will establish Westfield Bradford as a new retail destination for Yorkshire, anchored by Debenhams and Marks & Spencer. Retailers such as Next, the Arcadia group; Topshop,Topman, Burton, Miss Selfridge, Wallis, and Evans, plus brands such as River Island, have already chosen to secure significant space in the centre.

Eat Central, a spectacular 800-seat café-style food court, will offer customers a stylish dining experience providing local and international cuisine in a contemporary space. Bradford will see the next generation of this concept, taking casual dining to a new level. Eat Central will offer an international theatre of food providing outstanding ranges across all cultures – a place where people want to meet and be seen.









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Old October 2nd, 2008, 06:56 PM   #2
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Broadway joy at deal for Barratts

Bradford-based shoe store Barratts is the latest retailer to sign up to the £320 million Broadway shopping development.

The announcement was made last night as Westfield held its national leasing launch for the city centre project at Bradford’s National Media Museum.

The glitzy event, attended by leading retailers and agents, was aimed at showcasing the scheme to a wider audience. Michael Ziff, chairman of Stylo Plc, the parent company of Barratts, said: “We’re delighted to be part of the new Westfield Bradford. We hope to be trading in the new centre by 2010.”

Graham Hardaker, a director of Stylo, who was present at the launch, said the company had to close its store in Bradford several years ago. “This scheme gives us a great chance to come back to Bradford, which we are excited about,” he said.


Speaking at last night’s launch, David Slade, leasing director for Westfield, said: “If we can lease this shopping centre, we will build it and I am quite confident we can do that. We are targeting an opening of 2010.

“Barratts have their head office here in Bradford and it is very fitting to announce their signing while we’re launching our leasing campaign in the city.”

One of many businessmen to be invited to the launch was Peter Bashir, from the Zouk Tea Room and Grill, in Leeds Road, Bradford.

He said: “We are in negotiations with Westfield right now with a view to having a Zouk in the new development. Bradford is renowned for its Indian food and it is something that needs to be included in this new development.”

Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Councillor Adrian Naylor, said: “The announcement that Barratts has signed up to Westfield Bradford is a big boost for the project and further evidence of the confidence national organisations have in the city.”

Westfield Bradford will create 54,600 sq m of retail with homes and offices and 1,750 car parking spaces.


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Old October 2nd, 2008, 07:13 PM   #3
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Looks like it will be a very nice shopping centre. But is there a concern that it would become the focus of the city, the rest of the city centre being neglected. Much like the 'Arndale' effect in Manchester before the rest of the city centre was regenerated.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 02:29 AM   #4
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Theres a Westfield shopping centre in Derby, i'm presuming it will be the same.
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Old October 3rd, 2008, 10:14 AM   #5
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Westfield are currently working on the third largest shopping centre in the UK (after Blue Water and Metro Centre) and the largest in London, at a cost of £1.6bn. That must be sucking in all their resources and finances and is probably a big reason for the lack of progress at Broadway. White City is meant to be approaching completion by the end of the month, so perhaps that will release some of the resources for Broadway.
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Old October 6th, 2008, 01:29 PM   #6
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Broadway taking off despite gloom!

Australian shopping centre giant Westfield hopes a new ‘fly-through’ video of the Broadway development will whet the appetite of would-be tenants.

Vist :
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.u...espite_gloom_/


The computer-generated video shows how the new shopping centre will look from outside and “brings the scheme to life” by taking viewers on a journey through the malls of the huge building.

Westfield has also made available a site map showing exactly where the scheme’s major tenants will be located.

The Debenhams department store will occupy a 117,000 sq ft space over three levels at the corner of the shopping centre, bounded by Well Street and Hall Ings.
Meanwhile, Marks & Spencer, Next, Burtons, Miss Selfridge and Topshop will face onto Lower Kirkgate.

David Slade, leasing director for Westfield, said the video fly-through was “pretty amazing” and added that Westfield was “on the front foot” in terms of getting the centre built.

Westfield bought the Broadway scheme from the former developer, Stannifer, in 2004, after cherrypicking it from a portfolio of schemes which were being sold.

Mr Slade explained why a globally-renowned company such as Westfield had decided to invest in Bradford.

He said: “I remember coming up here many years ago and we drove into the city and there was this beautiful big hole in the ground and I thought ‘you don’t get a better site than this to build a shopping centre.’ Mr Slade said the district also had the fastest-growing working-age population of any major city in the UK, presenting a great opportunity for retailers.

He said: “Westfield Bradford will bring the best of UK retail to Bradford. We have already signed Debenhams so we are bringing a brilliant new department store to the city. We want to put Bradford back on the retail map. We are talking to retailers and getting a tremendous response.

“We are targeting an opening of 2010 notwithstanding the fact that the current economic climate has changed a bit in the last few weeks.”

Mr Slade said there was growing interest in the development’s 800-seat Eat Central food court, which will offer customers a stylish dining experience providing local and international cuisine in a large open space.

The company hopes Eat Central will take casual dining in Bradford to a new level by offering an ‘international theatre of food’ with outstanding ranges across many cultures.

The Zouk Tea Room and Grill, which already has premises in Leeds Road, Bradford, is among a number of local restaurant businesses looking to take space in the café-style food court.


Westfield hopes that more than 100 retailers will establish Broadway as a new retail destination in Yorkshire.

The latest retailer to sign up as a tenant for the development is Bradford-based shoe store Barratts, part of Stylo Plc. The company will take 18,500 sq ft of space in the back mall, near the Next store.
It has also been revealed that China’s largest clothing manufacturer, Bosideng International, is planning to open a store in the Broadway development after the company bought a 50 per cent stake in Bradford-based Greenwoods Menswear.
The centre is more than 50 per cent let in terms of floor space and Westfield says it will start construction work once it secures the necessary pre-lets.

But the company has not divulged what percentage of floor space must be let prior to work beginning.

Retailers already committed to the scheme include Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next, River Island, Topshop and Topman, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Beaverbrooks.

But, as the map shows, negotiations are underway to let a number of the available units in the development, with commercial terms agreed with at least half a dozen other retailers.

The new shopping centre has been designed with great care to reflect the district’s architectural heritage. The scheme will exploit the natural vantage points over public spaces and nearby landmarks, including Bradford Cathedral.
The development will also bring two new public squares to the city centre, one of which will be adjacent to St Peter’s House, which is now occupied by south Asian arts group Kala Sangam.

Tony Reeves, Bradford Council’s chief executive, said several regeneration projects were underway in the district, but none as important as the Westfield scheme.

Mr Reeves said the economic outlook for Bradford was “so strong” while the current retail offer was “far below” where it needed to be.

With that in mind, Mr Reeves said the Broadway project had huge potential. He enthused that Bradford would enjoy an “incredible journey” over the next decade.

Mike Cartwright, of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, said: “It was good to see so many people at the launch event the other night and Westfield need to keep turning that interest into commitment.

“The fly-through itself is very impressive and brings to life what we have only been able to imagine so far. It’s very reassuring and the Chamber is keen to see the development start as soon as possible.”

Councillor Adrian Naylor, the Council’s executive member for regeneration, said: “We are working very closely with Westfield.

“They have already invested £80 million in the Broadway scheme, have completed preparation works on the site and have secured some big-name retailers.

“Westfield is now working hard to secure more pre-lets, shops who want to commit to renting space in the centre before it is built.

“They want to make sure that when Westfield Bradford opens, the shopping centre is extensively let and does not contain any empty units, which has happened with other developers in some cities.”

Bradford South MP Gerry Sutcliffe said: “I had a meeting with Westfield last week and they were very positive in spite of the economic conditions.

“It’s about making sure they get people signed up and I am confident they are working with all the household names.

“When I asked them when they were going to start, they said they had spent so much money that they weren’t just going to walk away.”

Neil Huntington, Westfield’s development director, said the company entered the UK market about eight years ago.

He said: “Bradford will be the fourth development that Westfield will promote in the UK and it’s very important to us.”

Mr Huntington said Bradford created a fantastic opportunity for Westfield and for anyone who wanted to join the company in the development.

He said: “We have shown our commitment to the project by almost completing the enabling works on site. Our development will act as a catalyst to encourage further investment.

“The target is to open the shopping centre towards the end of 2010.”
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Old October 8th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #7
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Cheers City of Bradford for putting this thread up. Splitting up the main thread like this into separate projects is a good idea and takes some of the strain off the original.

Where did you get those two massive renders from at the top? Never seen the very top one before, and the other one never to that high a resolution. The top one does look very nice and bright and open, and I'm sure from the inside this place won't look so bad, it's mainly the outside I'm worried about, and the nature of a shopping centre to be this massive clunk in a city centre with, as in this scheme, little space devoted to squares or gardens and the like.

One other issue with the thread is that the title could do with amendment, most pressing is a few grammatical errors, though the formats for threads on here seemed to have been standardised of late using these things: | (I believe it's ''Shift \'' on my keyboard at least)

i.e. Bradford | Westfield Broadway Shopping Centre | Prep. Works

Or something like that. Not sure how relevant building uses are or the cost of the scheme. I think things like that can be explained within the thread. There can be the problem of describing and including too much, with your New Victoria thread being a worse example. Don't know whether you actually can edit thread titles on here or whether someone like Rob can do it, but it would just help to standardize the format and clarify the details of the project. Just a few things to remember for next time. Anyway cheers for creating the thread once again.

The videos of the project now uploaded on youtube:


Westfield Commentary:




Broadway Flythrough:



http://www.youtube.com/user/SquarefootApartments

http://uk.westfield.com/bradford/


And some renders I've come across:














There was also many technical drawings of this scheme posted on the main thread, though those were kind of a resource hog, I may just link to the page they were on. Alternatively I could quote them on here as a reference, but there was a lot of them.

The construction site as last I took photo's of it (Mid August):






Concrete cores:




Construction or preparatory work does still seem to be continuing with still sizable activity on site, though the scale of work on going could merely have been slowed down to make it appear like they're still hard at work, merely stretching resources to give that impression. And even after that there is still half more to let with no indication of what Westfield's designated pre-let requirements are to start work. With economic conditions what they are, I can see another wait on the horizon, with a project already three years behind schedule.
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Last edited by Dan B; October 9th, 2008 at 09:19 PM.
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Old October 8th, 2008, 11:08 PM   #8
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I don't really like the parts where the roof is low; it might as well be the St. Johns Centre in Leeds. But the larger open spaces where it's double height are more pleasant.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeds No.1 View Post
I don't really like the parts where the roof is low; it might as well be the St. Johns Centre in Leeds. But the larger open spaces where it's double height are more pleasant.
It seems to be the materials that let it down in these parts, sort of plastic looking and kind of cheap. If these parts were built with something a bit more substantial, then it could look better. A couple of examples from the video:






Some of the other parts of the development seen in the flythrough worry me more though. The Food Court in particular just seems to look really kitschy:








Although the flythrough does mainly detail the interior it does also reveal a bit more of the exterior sections in their present design. The design to the entrance onto Market Street has changed multiple times, though in the video, it looks about the worst I've seen it:




I hope this is only due to the quality of the visuals and the finished product will look better than this. One thing that hasn't changed though is that great metal hulk leering over the whole project. Surely there's better ways to make multi-storey car parks without that overbearing metal grating and cladding. Had the shopping centre got permission for all the parking to be below ground, then maybe this would've been unnecessary, or the space built for other uses, preferably as a glass structure.

Another revealed exterior section is the entrance onto Charles Street and Broadway:














For a development allegedly trying to connect with the previous architectural design of Bradford, I don't see how White and Purple is really doing it. I guess it takes references from the adjacent Arndale House, but I don't really see why you'd want to. There seems to be a lot of white in this project in general, which seems to be similar to what was there before, not like most of Bradford's uniform sandstone. The abundance of the Westfield Logo placed almost everywhere on this project is also rather annoying, and I think detracts from the project and its sense of place, clearly inferring that the company that makes it comes first and the location second.

Another alteration appears to be on the M&S department store:



Now clad in black, from a previous sandstone and glass design. It may still have an air of style, though the sandstone originally promised from the start seems to be almost vanishing from the project. The main inspiration from Bradford's architecture seen in the design seems to be on some of the walkways of the development with that familiar honeycome stone structure, though in this case it may be seen to be a pale imitation, looking more like a tiger skin (see previous post).


Anyway, here's some mindless optimism from the T&A (yes I'm being facetious):


Quote:
Originally Posted by The Telegraph & Argus
Traders upbeat over Broadway

3:46pm Wednesday 8th October 2008

comment Comments (3) Have your say »
By Will Kilner »


City centre traders “understand” the delays to the Broadway shopping scheme – but are “increasingly anxious” for construction work on the £320m project to get underway.

Bradford Chamber of Trade, the body that represents shop owners in Bradford, said Westfield’s city centre development was crucial.

Val Summerscales, the chamber’s secretary, said traders remained positive about the scheme because they understood that a change of developer in 2004 had delayed the original deadline.

Since Westfield bought the development from Stratford-based Stannifer, the scheme has been revised on several occasions. The value of the project has risen from £200m to £320m.

Mrs Summerscales said: “A lot of our members understand why the initial deadline was missed. A change of developer means the scheme almost has to go back to square one again.

“But we need to see some positive action now.

“Our members are increasingly anxious to see construction work start because they want to look forward to the benefits the new development might bring into Bradford.

“There’s a lot hanging on it.”

Mrs Summerscales said the scheme’s retail launch in Bradford last week could be seen as a positive step.

She said: “We are glad that it’s moving in the right direction.”
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.u...over_Broadway/


What happened to Stannifer anyway? They don't seem to have any presence on the internet. They go bust?

I guess that handover of the project did result in some of the original delays. With the value of the project going up from £200m to £320m though, how has the design seemed to have gone somewhat downhill from its original conception? - At least from what we can tell from renders and artist's impressions anyway. Though maybe those originals really did polish a turd, while giving us poor materials in exchange. But the impression it gave was better than this.
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Old October 9th, 2008, 06:36 PM   #10
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The first few images you posted where it looks like a generic town shopping centre look awful. Some of the more open air spaces are better, but they're not gonna be flooded with light most the time are they? More likely in the shade on a dull day.

I also hate how that dreadful Westfield logo is plastered everywhere. That logo is a disaster in graphic design.

Quote:
For a development allegedly trying to connect with the previous architectural design of Bradford, I don't see how White and Purple is really doing it
Bradford is mainly sandstone, which is closest to yellow in primary colours. Yellow's complimentary colour is purple. Therefore, when purple and yellow stand next to each other, both appear as bright as each other and stand out equally well. (This can also explain blue and orange on Marlborough Street in Leeds).
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Old October 9th, 2008, 10:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leeds No.1 View Post
The first few images you posted where it looks like a generic town shopping centre look awful. Some of the more open air spaces are better, but they're not gonna be flooded with light most the time are they? More likely in the shade on a dull day.

I also hate how that dreadful Westfield logo is plastered everywhere. That logo is a disaster in graphic design.



Bradford is mainly sandstone, which is closest to yellow in primary colours. Yellow's complimentary colour is purple. Therefore, when purple and yellow stand next to each other, both appear as bright as each other and stand out equally well. (This can also explain blue and orange on Marlborough Street in Leeds).

The Westfield Logo is a design miscarriage. It wouldn't be so bad if they just kept it as their corporate logo and left at that, but to brand all their shopping centres like they do serves to the detriment of every single one they build. I remember the main shopping centre back in Stoke, The Potteries Shopping Centre never had whoever built it's logo put up all over the place. Instead the location was the most important thing. Surely Bradford Broadway should be what's up on the signs? Or maybe nothing at all?

In regards to yellow and purple, they might well be complimentary colours (though surely that's subjective?), and it does feature on the Bradford City Football Shirts, but I was referring to that particular building in some of the renders seen in my previous post. The building is just white and purple cladding, may have worked if the material was sandstone with purple cladding intermingled, but as it is it just looks a bit ill fitting.
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Old October 11th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #12
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Two more retailers Bradford already has sign up for Broadway:


Quote:
Originally Posted by T&A
Pair are latest to sign up for stores

8:14pm Thursday 9th October 2008

comment Comments (13) Have your say »

By Will Kilner »


Two more retailers have signed up to take space in the £320 million Broadway shopping centre, it was revealed today.

Mobile phone operators Vodafone and T-Mobile have confirmed that they will lease stores in the city centre development.

Westfield, the Australian company spearheading the development, said the signings were another positive step and added that it was in “advanced negotiations” with many other retailers.

Vodafone will take a 1,523 sq ft store, while T-Mobile will lease a 893 sq ft space.

The announcement follows last week’s successful leasing launch, during which Bradford-based shoe company Barratts announced it would be opening a 1,792 sq ft store in the development. Westfield’s leasing director, David Slade, said: “We had a great leasing launch in the city last week which was extremely well attended by retailers and agents.

“These latest signings are another positive step and we're in advanced negotiations with many other retailers.”

The mobile phone firms can be added to a list of familiar names signed up to the scheme, including Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Next, River Island, Topshop and Topman, Miss Selfridge, Evans, Burton, Wallis, Dorothy Perkins and Beaverbrooks.

Councillor Adrian Naylor, Bradford Council's executive member for regeneration, said: “Good progress is being made with leasing and each new store announcement shows the continued confidence retailers have in Bradford and Westfield.”
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.u...up_for_stores/
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Old October 14th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #13
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i have applied for work experience at westfield bradford.
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Old October 15th, 2008, 06:41 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *-City Of Bradford-* View Post
i have applied for work experience at westfield bradford.

Nice one, if you get accepted let us know how it goes, plus any information you might be able to enlighten us with. Just wondering, what website did you get the two CGI's from at the top of this thread?
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Old December 15th, 2008, 07:43 PM   #15
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Rumours of Westfield development being put on hold till 2010:



Quote:
Broadway 'delay' rumours denied

6:00am Monday 15th December 2008

comment Comments (12) Have your say »
By Will Kilner »


Rumours that Westfield will not start construction work on the Broadway shopping scheme until late 2010 have been strongly denied.

Last week a construction trade magazine claimed the Australian developer had started a “wave of redundancies” as the economic downturn took its toll.

The magazine said it “understood” Westfield had put back the start date of three UK schemes, including the £320m Bradford development, as well as the £700m Nottingham Broadmarsh project and a £140m extension to The Friary in Guildford.

One source close to the company was quoted as saying construction work would not start on these schemes until the “back end of 2010.”

But today, Councillor Adrian Naylor, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for regeneration, described the article as “nonsense”.

He said: “When I saw this article, I spoke to Westfield straight away and there is absolutely no truth in the supposition that any of the shopping centres mentioned in the article will be delayed.

“It’s still my hope that the Bradford scheme will be progressed as soon as is practically possible. I am aware that work is going on to secure local as well as national retailers to take space in the scheme. Because of that, I have confidence that the scheme is progressing.”

A Westfield spokesman said: “We have not put these projects on hold. We have active teams involved on them and they are all in pre-development. We continue to progress them by seeking pre-lets and meeting other development goals.

“We remain committed to all of our developments in the UK and we will ensure that we have the appropriate level of resources to maintain and focus on all of them. Following the completion of Westfield London we are currently reviewing our resource levels. We are currently in the middle of a consultation period so it is too early to confirm the full outcome at this stage.

“However, some reductions to our current staffing levels are anticipated.”

With Westfield being an Australian company, it is thought that the weak pound could mean the time is ripe for Westfield to begin construction work on UK projects because of the potential for reduced building costs.

And there are signs that Westfield is stepping up its preparation for construction work. Local retailers who are looking to move into the Broadway centre are now being contacted two or three times a week by Westfield as the company attempts to finalise deals.

e-mail: will.kilner @telegraphandargus.co.uk
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.u...umours_denied/


Seems the denials are mostly spin here, I imagine there's more to this rumour than is let on in the article. The last paragraph details a weaker pound making construction costs cheaper, which could kick them into gear, but they're hardly going to go constructing it without all the necessary pre-let tenants signed up, which is what this delay has really been all about. As for finalizing deals, we've heard this mentioned a lot and all that comes is one or two at a time in drips and drabs dragging on and on.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 03:24 AM   #16
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Another news article on this stalled development:

Quote:
Originally Posted by T&A
M&S commits to Broadway despite cutbacks

6:04pm Wednesday 7th January 2009

comment Comments (8) Have your say »
By Chris Holland »


Marks & Spencer remains committed to opening a new store in Bradford’s £320 million Westfield retail development when it goes ahead.

This is in spite of announcing its worst trading results for a decade with like-for-like sales over the Christmas period down by seven per cent compared with 2007.

In a bid to cut costs by £200 million, M&S is to axe 1,200 staff and close 27 stores, manly smaller food outlets, none of them locally. The only Yorkshire store destined for closure is in Ripon.

A company spokesman said the trading downturn and closure plans would not affect any stores not named nor any proposed store developments.

Neither did it have any impact on the company’s plans for a key distribution centre at Rooley Lane, Bradford, although last year M&S indicated the time-scale for this development was being reviewed.

The spokesman confirmed that M&S was still scheduled to become an anchor tenant at the eagerly-awaited Westfield development.

Australian-based Westfield has invested more than £50 million in the Bradford development site on Broadway but has delayed construction due to the economic downturn. A campaign to attract more tenants continues.

M&S, along with Debenhams and Next which have also committed to taking significant space, form the cornerstone of the development on Broadway.

As and when the mall is built it will mark a return to Bradford by Debenhams after more than 30 years. The high street chain owned the former Busby’s department store on Manningham Lane.

Marks & Spencer’s like-for-like sales were down 7.1 per cent in the 13 weeks to December 27, its biggest sales collapse since July-September 1999, despite heavy price cutting in the run-up to Christmas.

There was more high street gloom as electrical retailer Miller Brothers, which once had a store in Bradford city centre, was put into administration.

Another victim of the spending slump is historic womenswear company Viyella, which was founded in 1784. It has called in the administrators.

The company has annual sales of about £30 million and its retail operations include 40 stores, including one in Ilkley.

Viyella, which employs 450 people, expressed the hope that the administrators would be able to sell the business quickly to protect jobs.

Chocolate retailer Thorntons blamed the drop in the number of shoppers on Britain’s high streets in the run-up to Christmas for melting sales in its stores.

The company said it had seen total sales decline 2.3 per cent in the 12 weeks to December 27, to £77.6 million.
http://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.u...pite_cutbacks/


So M&S are cutting back staff and stores and yet commit to this Broadway store which as a result would leave Bradford with two M&S's. Not complaining, but does that make logical sense in terms of continuity in M&S decision making as a company?
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Old January 9th, 2009, 04:49 AM   #17
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Surely they would close one? I can't imagine two M&Ss being viable in Bradford.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 11:18 AM   #18
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If this thing ever does get built (I still refuse to hold my breath) and M&S move in, then of course they'll close the Darley Street store.
I've said from the start, that all the Broadway Centre will do is kill off the top end of town. The whole developement is WAY to big for Bradford to sustain - all you have to do is look at the empty shops we have at the moment.

Apart from Debenhams, I think the only retailers that Westfield have managed to sign already have a presence in Bradford... so it's really just a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Before you know it, we'll have tumbleweeds rolling through the Kirkgate Centre!

I really don't understand how permission was given for a new shopping centre on this scale.
It would have been way better to develop a few smaller new buildings, on a retailer by retailer basis... along the lines of the historical old streets around Broadway.
The rest of it... apartments and another bloody hotel, is all padding anyway!!
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Old January 9th, 2009, 05:42 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mezzo View Post
If this thing ever does get built (I still refuse to hold my breath) and M&S move in, then of course they'll close the Darley Street store.
I've said from the start, that all the Broadway Centre will do is kill off the top end of town. The whole developement is WAY to big for Bradford to sustain - all you have to do is look at the empty shops we have at the moment.

Apart from Debenhams, I think the only retailers that Westfield have managed to sign already have a presence in Bradford... so it's really just a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
Before you know it, we'll have tumbleweeds rolling through the Kirkgate Centre!

I really don't understand how permission was given for a new shopping centre on this scale.
It would have been way better to develop a few smaller new buildings, on a retailer by retailer basis... along the lines of the historical old streets around Broadway.
The rest of it... apartments and another bloody hotel, is all padding anyway!!
Agree very much with you here Mezzo. A shop by shop or street by street basis would've allowed developers to gain an idea of the appropriateness of such a development and stop when the demand is supplied. First off would be to get the department stores in there, of which both Debenhams and BHS (since left the project) could have been built by now if it had been developed in this manner. After that other general shops not currently in Bradford could be encouraged onto new developed streets. As soon as there would be no need for any more, the rest of the land could be landscaped and made into a city centre park and square, hell you could even run a rail or tram link through there.

None of this will happen though, the foundations for a shopping centre are already in place. There's a massive dug hole on the site for what I'm guessing would be the underground car park. Too much infrastructure, and I doubt Westfield would ever sell part of it off for some other smaller development. If it does all come to nothing and we're left with a site we can do nothing with, an underground car park would still bode well on that site. I think the overall problem is that these decisions were initially made over a decade ago and they seem to have had to have stuck to them.


The innercity retail park here is just as much a problem, architecturally it's a turd, but it also foregoes the nature of a town centre whilst being a part of it. Nevertheless, with (what I think is) free parking it's busy as anything. I think again underground car parks would work here to save space and not make getting about there so chaotic both for driver and pedestrian. Then the stores that locate in these areas could be part of a better landscaped collection of seperate buildings, architecturally stronger and also anchored by offices or other shops, or dare I say it a few apartments if they'll sell. Something akin to the approved Channel Development, but with those kind of stores inhabiting them. I don't know why retail parks always have to look like aircraft hangars... actually that's an insult to aircraft hangars.
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Old January 9th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #20
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You're absolutely right Dan... it's not likely that any of the plans will change now that so much preparatory work's been done, so it looks like we're stuck with the hole in the ground for the foreseeable future.

If it does finally get built, one of the things that I really dislike about the scale of it is that they appear to have left very little room for open air public spaces.
It would have been nice to incorporate a 'proper' Forster Square into the scheme somewhere. I'm too young to remember it, but the original 'key-hole' shaped roundabout (pre 1960s decimation) looked fabulous.
Also, like you say, a link between the 2 stations (probably a tram - heavy rail would never get built in a million years) would be a good use of space.
Either way, it seems a tragedy that we'll (allegedly) have this bloody great 21st Century version of an Arndale Centre that will obscure Little Germany, the old Post Office building and Cathedral. Bradford really has not learnt from it's past mistakes.

Speaking of past mistakes.. that leads nicely on to the Forster Square Retail Park.
The last Forster Square station was stupidly demolished in order to make way for a new shopping centre that never got built.
Incidentally, how the hell did this happen? Was there no public outcry?
Bradford must be the only city in the UK to tear down not 1, but 2 decent old train stations and then move their inferior replacements even FURTHER out of the city centre!!!
Eventually the scheme morphed itself into procession of tin sheds that now form the present retail park.
I can only assume that the council were so desperate to see things happening that they agreed to anything the developers wanted.
Does anywhere else have an out of town (that's not really out of town) excuse for a retail park like this?
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