4 June 2016 – by Alexander Peace and Amber Rolt
Westfield is considering a global push into residential which will see the shopping centre giant develop and hold more of the flats around its malls.
The strategy will see the company diversify its business model away from pure retail.
Developing and retaining residential around its centres will allow it to have more control of the place-making around its assets, said Westfield.
After initially planning to sell off the planned homes at Westfield London, W12, the retail giant is now considering retaining up to 3,000 homes in the UK. They will be built around Westfield London, Westfield Stratford City, E20, and its proposed new scheme in Croydon, South London, which it is developing with Hammerson.
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Westfield is using the UK as a testbed for potential residential development at its future global projects, including Westfield Century City in Los Angeles and the expansion of Westfield San Diego.
John Burton, Westfield’s head of development for UK and Europe, said: “Westfield has over 3,000 residential homes across our three developments in the UK and we are evaluating the various residential models.
“These residential homes are in key areas of London which are undergoing a massive regeneration programme and are popular residential, shopping, office and leisure destinations.”
The group is yet undecided as to whether to hire residential experts to join the company.
Westfield had instructed Knight Frank to handle the sale of the 1,522 planned homes at Westfield London and was in discussions with Greystar, London Square, Exemplar and Native Land. The talks ended in March last year, with Westfield deciding to implement a new strategy.