Intu is a major player in the retail property market, with a number of high profile acquisitions boosting its returns significantly in the past two years.
The property giant currently owns 15 branded shopping centres in the UK – along with Manchester’s Arndale Centre, Cardiff St David’s and The Mall in Bristol – and has recently announced that its Watford centre is to undergo a huge extension, when it is merged with a neighbouring outlet.
Intu initially acquired the Charter Place Shopping Centre, which lies adjacent to its Intu Watford development, in April 2013 and has since been examining the possibility of transforming the adjoining centre into an extension for the larger complex.
Now a £100 million investment will finally see the two centres fully integrated, with Charter Place due to be partially rebuilt and fully renovated to bring both exterior and interior in line with Intu Watford’s design.
After gaining planning approval for the project in February of this year, Intu has now taken on BAM Construction to develop the designs for the extension.
Along with the integration of the properties, this will see the refurbishment of the existing car park and the construction of a canopy roof over the public square, creating 1.4 million sq ft of retail and leisure space.
Regional director of Intu, Rebecca Ryman, believes the integration of the company’s adjoining assets will provide a major boost to Watford’s retail profile.
She says; “The redevelopment of Intu Watford and the adjoining centre will transform the town into a major retail and leisure destination considerably boosting its position in the UK retail rankings, placing it firmly in the top 20.
“The work by BAM on the extension will be a key element in creating the right space in the right place to help retailers’ businesses flourish and provide an even wider range of shops, restaurants and leisure offers for our customers.”
Intu Watford has a catchment area of 5.2 million and enjoys current average footfall levels of 17 million a year – a figure Intu will be hoping to boost when the extension is completed in 2017.
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