$1.6 Billion London Mall By Hammerson, Westfield Approved

Westfield Group (WDC), the world’s biggest shopping-mall operator by assets, and Hammerson Plc (HMSO) won preliminary approval to rebuild a mall in south London as part of a project valued at about 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion).

The venture will also develop as many as 600 homes, offices and leisure facilities after the local-government council in the town of Croydon voted in favor of the Whitgift Centre project today. The development will create as many as 5,000 jobs, according to documents given to the members before the vote.

The development will be the largest retail and commercial center in south London, the developers said in a filing to the borough. Construction is expected to begin in 2015, Sydney-based Westfield and London-based Hammerson said in January.

“A step-change in Croydon’s retail and leisure offer is required,” the borough’s planners told members before the vote. “The best opportunity for delivering this is via the comprehensive redevelopment of the Whitgift Centre and surrounding land.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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