Watford is set to see some exciting changes over the next few years with significant development planned for The Harlequin and Charter Place centers. The centers' parent company, Intu Properties plc last year announced that part of its planned £1 billion (1.16 billion) investment over the next ten years on key projects would include the centers in Watford.
The company's long term aim is to join Charter Place and The Harlequin together under the one banner of intu Watford. As well as the significant refurbishment plans, customers will be able to enjoy free Wifi throughout The Harlequin from February 2014. In addition, the center is introducing a new interactive digital site that includes online shopping and all Centre staff are going through intu's world-class training program so shoppers will benefit from an enhanced customer experience.
An early stage of this development will see The Harlequin trial new temporary signage throughout February on behalf of all intu centers.
Michael Stevens, General Manager commented: "We've always worked hard to bring new retailers and exciting events to Watford but the benefit of being part of a national brand is that we can attract even more exciting national and international brands and events to Watford. We are already drawing up a new calendar of events with magazines and film companies, who are excited by the opportunity of dealing with a brand that has a UK-wide presence.
Stevens continues, "Our signage trial will give us a chance to identify the best design, material and construction options before applying for permission to install permanent signs later in the year. Watford was the perfect choice given the high profile and visibility of the center and the vision and ambition of the mayor, Dorothy Thornhill and Watford Borough Council to establish Watford as a leading regional shopping center and leisure destination.
The temporary signage can be seen on the Mall entrance and over the coming week some of the high level signage above Kings Car Park will also be updated.
Intu Properties plc will submit a planning application for the redevelopment of Charter Place within the coming months. The £80 million (92.8 million) project will focus upon enhancing Watford's overall retail, entertainment and leisure offer, and will include a cinema, exciting restaurant line up, family entertainment and new retail.