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18 July 2008

Westfield London’s Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre 92% let

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by Lin Freestone

Westfield London’s Shepherd’s Bush shopping centre 92% let

There are just 100 days to go before the opening of London’s biggest shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush.

As opening day approaches at Westfield’s London project, work is stepping up with an estimated 5,000 construction workers on site.

The £1.6bn, 1.6 million sq ft shopping centre on a 46-acre site in west London will be the third biggest in the UK after the MetroCentre in Gateshead and Bluewater in Kent when it opens at the end of October.

The developer, Westfield, claims that 92% of retail space has now been let and shop-fitting is well under way.

Seven of the anchor tenants – Marks & Spencer, Waitrose, Next, Debenhams, House of Fraser, Boots and Apple – are already fitting out their shops. Over the next few weeks teams of workers from up to 70 more retailers will move into their stores and start putting up displays, shelves and tills.

In addition to the high-end shops, the centre will have the biggest range of quality eating places of any such site in the country. Michelin-starred chefs Pascal Aussignac and Vincent Labeyrie have agreed to open a new venture called Croque Gascon in the centre’s Eat Gallery. There will be 40 additional cafes, restaurants and eating places.

A state-of-the-art 14-screen cinema by Cinema de Lux, a health and beauty retreat, and a gymnasium will add to the destination appeal of the centre. The development has a rippling roof with a pattern of dark and transparent glass panels to maximise natural light during the winter, but to minimise glare during the summer.

Founded in Australia, Westfield specialises in the design, development, funding, leasing and management of shopping centres, as well as taking responsibility for carrying out construction jobs.

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