Boxpark founder Roger Wade has expressed interest in forming a consortium to save the redevelopment of Croydon after Westfield and Hammerson walked away from the town centre.

Speaking to Retail Week, Wade called the end of the Croydon Partnership’s plans to redevelop the Whitgift shopping centre in the town “a crying shame” and said he was in discussions with property funds and other stakeholders about the possibility of forming a consortium to take over the redevelopment.

Roger Wade, Boxpark CEO

Roger Wade: ‘We believe in Croydon and if other people don’t believe in Croydon then we’re willing to step up’

He said: “If people don’t step up, we will be looking to step up and put a consortium together to redevelop the scheme. We’re involved with major property funds throughout the UK who have expressed an interest in working with us in Croydon.

“I see no reason why we couldn’t look at redeveloping the scheme. So we’re throwing our hat into the arena. We’ve got a proven track record of dealing with Croydon. We believe in Croydon and if other people don’t believe in Croydon then we’re willing to step up.”

While Wade said it was too early to name the property funds he has been in discussions with, he claimed putting a consortium together “wouldn’t be too difficult”. He also expressed interest in working with “Hammerson, in particular”, which owns the freehold for the Centrale shopping centre.

Wade said that Croydon was now the best performing Boxpark site, adding: “We’ve had a fantastic five years in Croydon. We believe in Croydon and I think we understand retail, we understand leisure and we understand hospitality.”

While it’s too soon to outline what plans he has for the redevelopment, Wade said any Croydon redevelopment would “have to be a mixed-use development… it cannot stack up purely on retailers, so there’s going to have to be a higher proportion of residential and commercial offices within the scheme”.

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