Bromley seeking development partner for town centre site
Tue 20 September 2011, 5:12 pm
Developers are being invited to step forward to become partners with Bromley Council as it starts work on one of the biggest town centre redevelopment sites in south London – its town centre site G.
Cllr Peter Morgan, Bromley’s portfolio holder for renewal and recreation, announced the opportunity at the end of the Invest Bromley conference on Tuesday (September 20), where more than 150 investors and key stakeholders attended a day of talks and panel discussions about the opportunities in the borough.
Site G, also known as Churchill Place, is a 3.58 hectare area west of Bromley High Street in the town centre and is scheduled for retail expansion, with large floorplans targeted at key department stores and fashion retailers.
"Bromley is London’s best kept secret," Cllr Morgan told the packed conference audience. "A trip to the town centre no longer a functional necessity – used to be that peopld had to go there, but peop;e can do all their shopping, business, see friends, etc, in out of town centres or on internet. The town centre has to become an optional preference which is why we have to make it an interesting and attractive and distinctive place to come and want to stay.
"We are already ahead – our nearest rivals too far away and nicer place to shop than our nearest competitor Croydon.
"But we know we lack units of sufficient size for modern fashion retailers and know we need to provide that – together with Site G as an anchor for the town centre.
"We are serious about being open for business. We have put aside a £10 million fund and more money will be found if necessary; we have a track record in sharing risk, we did it for the Glades and still have a share in it.
"With CBRE as our consultants already in touch with retailers about demand for the town centre, and Lesley Jones as site architects for Site G, our next task is to find a development partner."
Following a question and answer session, Marc Hume, head of renewal and recreation, confirmed that the council would be considering compulsory purchase orders to acquire Site G as well as look at innovative ways of funding. "There are over 120 owners with holdings on Site G - we're going to have to." He added that the phasing odf the scheme was still underr discussion and would be decided in the next four to five weeks.
Cllr Morgan said Bromley was looking for a development partner who was " enthusiastic, has expertise, finance, the ability work up a plan which accords with Bromley’s Area Action Plan, and the ability to engage with the public."