Westfield will unconditionally start construction works on the £260m Bradford Broadway development and has completed the sale of its interest to pan European retail real estate investment manager Meyer Bergman. Final site enabling works are being completed in December in preparation for major construction works starting in January 2014.
The new centre in the heart of the city is expected to open its doors in time for the Christmas shopping period in 2015 and is estimated to create 2,500 new retail jobs for Bradford.
The 570,000 sq ft new shopping centre will feature a 106,000 sq ft Debenhams department store and a 63,000 sq ft Marks & Spencer as anchor retailers, along with 70 additional shops, restaurants and cafes, including major high street retailers Next, River Island and just announced Topshop, Topman and Sainsbury’s.
Meyer Bergman acquired the scheme as the initial investment for its second value-add fund, Meyer Bergman European Retail Partners II, which has a strategic focus on defensive prime assets located in city centre shopping destinations across Europe. The fund completed the purchase of the Bradford site with co-investment from two major Canadian pension funds, Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan and AIMCo, on behalf of certain of its clients. Together they appointed Westfield to develop, design, construct and lease the project. Westfield will also act as the property manager for the centre following completion of the development.
Michael Gutman, Westfield Managing Director UK/Europe and New Markets said: “Westfield is delighted to announce the start of construction having remained steadfastly committed to delivering the Bradford development following cessation of work in 2008 as a result of the global financial crisis.
“Westfield has worked intensively with Bradford Council, the Government and Meyer Bergman to attract new retailers, create new jobs and ensure that this development is built for the city and the people of Bradford.
“The Broadway development is the first of many schemes in our £3.5 billion+ development pipeline which also includes the £1 billion expansion of Westfield London and new projects in Croydon and Milan. The UK development pipeline alone will create over 14,000 new permanent jobs.”