I was lucky enough this week to have a very exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the new, not-yet-open-to-the- public Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London. To say I was excited would be an understatement. Anyone who lives in East London knows what this centre, along with the 2012 Olympic stadium, will do for the area, so to be here watching it all happening makes me feel pretty darn lucky. Take a glimpse below for some stats and exclusive pics.
As we were escorted around the massive, three-level mall, builders from all over the country beavered away putting the finishing touches to shops. Most of the stores are boarded up at the moment and have no product in (probably not a good idea to do that til they’ve finished building the thing!), but the names that were there made me pretty excited about potential shopping trips.
Westfield Stratford City, as it will be known, is larger than the Westfield in Shepherd’s Bush and is one of the most environmentally friendly developments in the UK. It will also be the gateway to the Olympic park and it’s expected that 70% of Olympic foot traffic will go through the centre – it’ll be a very busy hub indeed.
One of the things that struck me as we walked around was the use of natural light. Yes, it’s a shopping centre, but you know what the elements are doing outside at all times. It’s nice and bright and airy. There’s also an external shopping street environment and outdoor dining.
Alongside all the high street shops you’d expect in a centre like this, there will also be two hotels (Premier Inn and Holiday Inn), office space, over 300 food, fashion and lifestyle brands, a Vue Cinema, All Star Lanes bowling and a casino. Food wise, expect the likes of Bumpkin, Jamie’s Italian, Busaba Eathai, Wahaca and more.
Not long now til you can shop til you drop in East London (and then go for a run around the Olympic stadium in celebration – woo hoo!)
For more info, check out their website www.westfieldstratfordcity2011.com