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Old June 25th, 2010, 05:05 PM   #61
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Looking VERY good.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 09:32 PM   #62
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IKEA buys Stratford site for housing development



Swedish furniture giant IKEA has made its first major foray into the UK property market by buying up a site next to the Olympic Park.

The purchase of the 13-acre Sugar House Lane site between the entrance to the park and Stratford High Street is part of a bid by Inter IKEA — the Swedish firm's investment arm — to launch its burgeoning residential business in the UK.

Yesterday, chancellor George Osborne rubberstamped a £438 million deal clearing the way for the post-Games redevelopment of the 500-acre site.

It gives control of the land to the new Olympic Park Legacy Company and wipes out a debt acquired by the London Development Agency in buying up the site.

The new IKEA site comprises a series of redundant industrial warehouses and has development potential for as many as 1500 homes.

The site is also expected to have several office blocks and warehousing aimed at the creative and film industries.

Although the company is a well-known name in the UK and appears on 18 stores across the country, the maturity of the retail market has kept it from creating IKEA-anchored developments in Britain.

In Europe, it develops and anchors large shopping malls, and has focused on building housing-led regeneration schemes that do not include a store but retain the “IKEA vision” of modern, simple design.

Sources told Estates Gazette that Inter IKEA is looking at a string of sites across the UK on which to expand its residential-led business.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...readerComments
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Old October 1st, 2010, 05:26 AM   #63
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Exclusive film tour of John Lewis store and Olympics Park

Here is an exclusive film tour of Stratford City, the Olympic Park and John Lewis's department store at the site.

http://link.brightcove.com/services/...d=620366765001

Westfield and John Lewis provided me with access to the site yesterday to mark the handover of the first department store for fit-out.


The film clearly shows that John Lewis had first dibs on stores at the scheme that is for sure. An escalator from Stratford International leads directly into the store which has spectacular views on to the Olympic Park, the aquatics centre and the stadium.

John Lewis's store also adjoins the athletes village and further to the right the media centre - so there are a few punters there to tap into..

John Lewis took on its 240,000 sq ft department store, along with a 32,000 sq ft Waitrose store at basement this week for fit out ahead of opening in September of next year.

The retail giant announced in September of 2006, shortly after London won its bid to host the 2012 Olympics, that it would be investing £50m in a new store at Westfield's 1.9m sq ft shopping and leisure centre.

Retail development manager Samantha Rowntree told me that fit out work on a store that would focus on updating a range of concepts for John Lewis would begin in the next few weeks.

The four-storey department store will set aside around 5,000 sq ft for the sale of 10,000 licensed Olympics products. It is also looking at ways for making the most of the great views it has on to the Olympic Park.

Rowntree said the store was looking at a number of ways of appealing specifically to its East London audience.

"The catchment is huge, stretching out as far as Chelmsford and Kent. We will look to communicate with customers in news ways such as via social media."

John Lewis is also seeking to appeal to the catchment of what it terms "educated urbanites" via an increased focus on cutting edge fashion.

Rowntree said the store was particularly excited about the opportunity to contribute to the regeneration of the area.

"When we bring a department store to an area we want to be part of the community. We are working with Newham council and Westfield on how we can ensure local people are job ready for what we do."

The store will in fact employ 900 people - in previous areas such as Leicester and Cardiff around 90% of staff have been pooled from the local area, so as Rowntree says, there is a very concrete sense in which John Lewis is at the forefront of the Olympics regeneration.

To underline this commitment the John Lewis store has been designed with distinctive interlocking circles on its exterior which highlight its commitment to what it terms the "circles of regeneration".

I am not the only one who has noticed that these look more than a little like Olympic rings. Best not to go there though.

http://www.estatesgazette.com/blogs/...pics-park.html
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Old October 16th, 2010, 01:50 PM   #64
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[IMG]http://i56.************/2hyxs39.jpg[/IMG]
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Old October 16th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #65
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vid from spring interesting..

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Old December 16th, 2010, 04:33 PM   #66
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Inside Stratford's mega mall

-- Link to London Evening Standard article --

As I stand on the steps of the giant new Westfield shopping centre in Stratford and look across the huge construction site in front of me, I realise that the redevelopment of Stratford, taking shape in time for the Olympics (590 days away), is unprecedented. Nothing this size has ever been built so quickly in London's history. The Olympic Park, the Athletes Village and this giant shopping centre are part of a transformation of this area of east London that is monumental in scale and lightning fast in execution.



I've seen the drawings and computer-generated images of Westfield Stratford City many times, but now that the complex is just nine months from completion they do little to prepare you for the reality. This shopping centre is the largest inner-city mall in Europe, and has been created by Westfield, the Australian property developer behind scores of shopping centres in Australia and America. It even dwarfs Westfield London, the immense mall in Shepherd's Bush that is its western sister. As one of the first journalists to see inside the mega mall, I can report that the scale is truly mind-boggling, with 250 shops (still just shells at this stage) ranged in double-height arcades on three levels along with restaurants, offices, a cinema, a new Tube station ticket hall, car parking and possibly a casino, if the licence is granted.

Westfield Stratford City is, of course, just one of three adjoining huge building sites at Stratford, the two others being the Athletes Village and the Olympic Park itself. Looking out from the shopping centre towards the blocks of housing that will accommodate the 2012 athletes, I am reminded of pictures of building sites from the Sixties, or even from communist Russia — numerous huge blocks being built all at once with the help of a command economy.

And to think that this project would have been even bigger if not for the crash in the property market in 2008. Part of the Westfield masterplan is housing and offices that the market today will not support. These will be completed in future phases — podiums and foundations are in place, ready to receive them. After the Games, the area will be left with the 3,000 homes to the north of the Athletes Village, a shopping centre the size of the Westfield mall in Shepherd's Bush, plus one million square feet of offices and several hotels, as well as the Olympic Park, the stadium, the Aquatics Centre and the Velodrome. The developers have treated the entire area as a blank canvas, preserving not a trace of its former use.



The Westfield Stratford City shopping centre itself sits on former railway land, an island site divided from the rest of Stratford town centre by two railway lines and the already knotty Stratford one-way system. There are many new bridges (as many as 20) but the mall is still a place that is utterly distinct from what is around it, and there are certainly no sentimental references to its past life as a goods yard.
This is a brave new world, as envisioned by Westfield, an extraordinary experiment. But what of its architectural merit? Of course, the idiom of the whole of the shopping centre is the slick, seamless style that developers call “contemporary”. There are flashy materials — bronzed cladding and patterned glass. There will be high quality materials underfoot (grey granite, as usual). Like most entirely new developments, there is a slightly unreal air about it. Westfield connects to the city around it but is nothing like it: there will be no mess, no informal development in this huge piece of city. This is a commercial development where the needs of retailers and their customers come first.

Westfield Stratford City is the second RPT major shopping development in London by the developer, and, together, the malls divide London in two. The strategic diagrams demonstrating Westfield Stratford City's viability include one that shows its catchment area of more than four million shoppers, stretching out into Essex and provocatively including the area around the Lakeside shopping centre in West Thurrock. In London itself, the catchment area stops at Holborn. If you have a W in your postcode you shop at Shepherd's Bush, if you have an E you are a target for Stratford.

The Stratford shopping centre is more mature than Shepherd's Bush. In west London, Westfield inherited a previous developer's plan, and continued with that scheme. The result is a single mall, with its by now well-known figure-of-eight plan. The Stratford centre is entirely Westfield's vision, and is more architecturally diverse, with a massive indoor mall, but with “anchor” tenants (Marks & Spencer and John Lewis) in distinct, separate buildings. The other critical difference is that Stratford has a mix of uses, and when complete will include hotels, offices and housing within the whole.

Westfield clearly has little time for architectural egos, and the practices it has employed to design the buildings were unlikely ever to rock the boat. It is a list of little-knowns: Crispin Wride for the John Lewis store, APA for Marks & Spencer, commercial architect HKR for a hotel. Bennetts Associates, designing another hotel, and Fletcher Priest, creating an office building, are better known.



There are not likely to be any architectural masterpieces here. Internally, the mall is spectacular, as these things go. The huge curving internal street, completely column free, is certainly impressive. But the John Lewis looks a slightly cheaper version of the department store's buildings in Southampton and Leicester. The Marks & Spencer is also a strange animal, with its white concrete with brass trim. There is little in the way of distinctive architectural character in any of the buildings I saw — although I should say that most were not yet complete.

But there are positives. The master plan has changed since its initial incarnation but retains an external route for visitors from Stratford centre to the Olympic Park. This route will pass under the projecting canopy of Zaha Hadid's Aquatics Centre, and forms an axis that ends with the Olympic Stadium itself. Compare this with the life-sapping approach to Wembley Stadium and be impressed. There will also be spectacular views from the restaurants and bars at Westfield pacross the Olympic site for those who do not get tickets.

The shopping centre will be open in September next year, and then will begin the acid test for the borough of Newham and for east London. There will be somewhere around 9,000 jobs in the centre when it opens (and more to come as later phases are completed), but, beyond employment, the question mark for the legacy of this mega commercial development will be in its potential to lift Stratford town centre more generally.

We will be back to consider that in two years' time. Some pretty big reputations, not least Newham mayor Sir Robin Wales's, depend on this success. Stratford is a deserving east London centre with potential, but after some interesting work in the mid-Nineties (including the refurbished theatre and the Picturehouse cinema) the regeneration of the town centre has stalled. Recent new housing on Stratford High Street is cynical and low quality. The completion of Westfield could kick off a new wave of regeneration (which must start with the outdated, Land Securities-owned Stratford Shopping Centre). Alternatively, it could become the shiny, commercially successful big brother to an enduringly dowdy town centre.
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Old December 19th, 2010, 05:02 AM   #67
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I'll have to visit this place some day
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Old May 25th, 2011, 11:36 PM   #68
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I'm glad the UK is building more Malls
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Old May 29th, 2011, 11:35 PM   #69
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Canary Wharf 2.0.
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Old September 13th, 2011, 02:46 PM   #70
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Europe's biggest urban shopping centre opened today in a deprived area of east London.

London's Westfield Stratford City shopping centre opens its doors

[IMG]http://i51.************/5b5mjp.png[/IMG]


Europe's biggest urban shopping centre opened today in a deprived area of east London where it will act as the gateway to the 2012 Olympics.

Westfield Stratford City, which has risen from derelict wasteland in one of the poorest areas in Britain, houses over 300 shops, 70 restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, three hotels and Britain's largest casino.

Hundreds of people queued outside the £1.45 billion sterling (€1.7 billion) shopping centre before the doors even opened. The Australian owners of the centre are confident they can defy the retail gloom as the British economy stutters.

Westfield's sister site in Shepherd's Bush, west London - previously the biggest mall in Europe - opened in the depths of a recession in 2009 yet attracted 23 million visitors in its first year.

The giant Stratford site is a cornerstone of the Olympic Park and spectators arriving for next year's Games will have to walk through the shopping centre to reach the sports venues. A high-speed train will bring 25,000 Olympics spectators an hour to Stratford International station where they will be greeted by a row of shops and restaurants.

Crucially for an area with unemployment levels far above the national average, the centre has created 10,000 new jobs. Local politicians believe it is another part in the jigsaw of regeneration which they hope will create a thriving community once the Olympic flame goes out.

But the site's proximity to the Olympic park has required additional security precautions. The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) said it will be operating checks on vehicles entering the public car park at the shopping centre until the Games end in September 2012.

http://www.rte.ie/news/2011/0913/wes...-business.html

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Old September 13th, 2011, 03:02 PM   #71
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Old September 13th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #72
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