intu receives planning permission for £100 mln redevelopment in Watford (UK)

intu has been granted detailed planning consent to redevelop Charter Place in Watford and substantially refurbish intu Watford, the existing center. intu’s plans will integrate the two adjoining centers, creating an exciting 1.4 million ft² (approx. 130,064 m²) retail and leisure destination, which will provide new retail space for brands, a cinema and leisure complex, along with a vibrant new restaurant hub.

New larger modern units will be created to attract strong brands and further enhance the shopping experience at intu Watford. A new public square will also be created that will host a diverse events programme, such as street theatre and music shows.

Charlie Griffiths, senior asset manager for the scheme said “The £100 million (approx. €121.9 million) investment across both shopping centers in Watford will completely transform the town’s position in the UK retail rankings, placing it firmly in the top 20. The redevelopment will create the very best destination in North London to shop high quality brands and spend leisure time. Our plan is to bring more customers, from further, for longer.”

Elected Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill said: “We have an excellent partner in intu, who have shared our aspirations for a town center cinema, new restaurants and family friendly leisure facilities. The jobs news is excellent too. Watford residents deserve the best, and they’re going to get it.”

The proposed development will create around 1,125 additional new jobs across the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors, and up to 630 temporary construction jobs will be supported during the construction phase.

An online and physical public consultation which was held in 2013 revealed that 91% of respondents felt that Charter Place needed to change and supported intu’s proposals for more shops and leisure facilities.

Construction is expected to start during 2015, following a land assembly process, with the new destination scheduled to open in 2017

Source: intu

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