We are so excited to be able to share this with you all!
This video will give you an insight to the £180 million redevelopment plans happening over the next three years which will see the extension come alive with tons of new fashion, beauty, food and leisure stores, including a brand new 9 screen IMAX Cineworld cinema.
Laing O'Rourke have now completed the construction of our fabulous glass roof which will form the focal point of our redevelopment build. There is now 7 months to go until Debenhams, the first store in the new build, opens!
Colleagues from both Laing O'Rourke and intu Watford celebrated a 'Topping Out' ceremony on Thursday 23 November. A ceremonial piece of concrete was poured on to the roof of the building to mark the highest part of the build being reached. The £180 million extension will have a phased opening from September 2018, bringing some great retail, leisure and catering brands to the town centre.
With only a year to go until the opening of the new extension, our next steps are to refresh the existing centre. Changes will include modernisation of flooring and ceilings, upgrading our lighting scheme, enhancements to the high level architecture and upgrading our existing toilet and changing facilities. The works will also include the introduction of leisure and grab & go catering options by Lakeland and Gourmet Burger Kitchen. We apologise for the disruption - we promise it will be worth it as we turn Watford into a first class retail, dining and leisure destination!
Superdry is the latest retailer to join intu’s multi-million pound redevelopment and extension project in Watford town centre.
The British lifestyle brand will open a 6,630 sq ft store in the 400,000 sq ft extension at intu Watford when it opens in 2018, which will be anchored by a 113,000 sq ft Debenhams store. Around two thirds of the extension is now let with Hollywood Bowl, Cineworld and a range of family friendly restaurants such as TGI Friday, Las Iguanas and Byron among leisure brands to have also signed up for space.
Nick Tatum, global retail director of Superdry, said: “intu Watford’s demographic is the perfect fit for our brand and we’re looking forward to opening as part of the centre’s growing retail and leisure offer which will attract even more people from Watford and its surrounding areas.” Rebecca Ryman, regional managing director at intu, said: “Superdry is the latest brand to recognise the benefits of our £180m extension to intu Watford as a space that will attract even more shoppers to the centre by creating a real day out destination and compelling experiences for visitors from Watford and beyond.”
We've opened up the portholes on the upper mall next to Panacea so that customers can have a look inside the intu Watford extension and how it is currently progressing. The portholes are part of the hoarding covering the old Charter Place doors, and give a great insight in to the work that Laing O'Rourke are currently doing. Make sure to go and have a look next time you are in centre!
Hollywood Bowl has signed up to the intu Watford multi-million pound extension that is set to elevate the town to a top 20 UK retail destination. Hollywood Bowl’s 23,626 sq ft tenpin bowling centre at intu Watford will be its third within intu’s portfolio of shopping centres across the UK.
66% of the space at intu Watford’s extension is now let ahead of its opening in 2018, with Debenhams, Cineworld and catering brands Thaikun, TGI Friday and Yo! Sushi among names already confirmed to be joining the centre’s expanding retail and leisure mix.
When fully built, the extension to intu Watford will create a 1.4 million sq ft retail and leisure destination.
Over the last few weeks, progress on site has come along tremendously. The steelworks for the leisure block are currently being erected, and in the next few weeks Laing O'Rourke will begin the erection of the steelworks for the cinema block and multi storey car park. Decking will also start next week within the cinema block.
Once completed in Autumn 2018, the intu redevelopment will have over 10 new restaurants and 16 retail units. There will also be a leisure facility and a 9 screen IMAX cinema, making intu Watford a one stop destination for a great family day out.
On Monday 23 January, steelwork was delivered to the redevelopment site to begin the first stages of the build. Over the course of the redevelopment, over 5,000 tonnes of structural steel will be used. The construction of the cinema and leisure block is also currently taking place, and in February Laing O'Rourke will begin the pit construction for the future Debenhams escalator. The steel decking will also soon commence for the multi - story car park.
Our redevelopment works have been coming along nicely over the last few months, with contractors Laing O'Rourke now digging deep into the basement to make way for a large unit that will soon be home to Debenhams. In July we took the original wooden animals from the ex Charter Place site and rehomed them in the Cha Cha Cha cafe situated just down the road in Cassiobury Park. They've settled in well and are enjoying their new home - don't forget to pay them a visit if you're in the area!
In August, the AOC Archaeology Group discovered an old well and water tank on the building site, dating back from between 1700-1750 AD. They were uncovered on the high street under the old Lloyds Bank unit. We're sure you'll agree it's a great piece of Watford history dating back from the Georgian era!
From Monday 13 June 2016, there will be no lift access in Charter car park from level 2 in to the centre.
We would advise customers with a disability or those with children and push chairs to park in Palace car park, which is accessible via the same route from the ring road as Charter car park. For customers continuing to park in Charter car park, you can access the centre via the Beechen Grove stairwell. This stairwell is located by the exit barrier on each level. Alternatively you can use the footpath to cross over in to Palace car park to enter the centre as normal.
Palace Theatre customers that require lift access should park in Palace car park during intu Watford's opening hours. For those visiting out of hours, please use either Sutton, Church or Gade town centre car parks (NB: these town centre car parks are not managed by intu Watford).
All other lift access routes in to the centre will remain unchanged. We appreciate your patience and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
intu has appointed Laing O’Rourke as the main contractor to build our multi-million pound extension.
Liam Cummins, Head of UK Construction at Laing O’Rourke said: “We are delighted to be continuing to develop our partnership with intu, and look forward to delivering this transformational retail project for Watford."
The extension of intu Watford is set to create a single 1.4 million sq ft retail and leisure destination, placing Watford in CACI’s top 20 national retail destinations ranking, alongside Edinburgh and Bristol.
“Our £178m extension of intu Watford will transform the centre into a contemporary shopping experience providing a fantastic place to shop, eat and play. It will massively strengthen intu Watford as a destination which retailers want to invest in and our visitors enjoy,” said Rebecca Ryman, regional director of intu.
Update: 18 April 2016
Following the news that Debenhams has signed up to a new 113,000 sq. ft. anchor store, intu, the leading owner and manager of prime regional shopping centres in the UK, has announced a string of further lettings for intu Watford’s 400,000 sq. ft. extension.
A new mix of retail and catering will offer visitors to intu Watford more to choose from, with New Look and H&M among stores to sign up to the new extension along with a host of new catering brands including Thaikhun, TGI Friday and YO! Sushi.
This adds to the attractive dining offering secured for the extension, with Cabana, Las Iguanas and Byron already signed up. The extension to the existing centre will make intu Watford a premium London satellite destination, with a total 1.4 million sq. ft. of space.
We are pleased to announce the signing of top high street department store, Debenhams as part of our extension plans. The 113,000 sq ft store will be the main retailer of the 400,000 sq ft extension and will help to position Watford as a leading retail and leisure destination.
Once the extension is completed, it has been estimated that Watford will be promoted to the top 20 national retail destination, ranking alongside Edinburgh and Bristol.
Howard Oldstein, General Manager of intu Watford, said: “With John Lewis and Marks & Spencer already anchoring intu Watford, we wanted to add an additional anchor as part of our development plans that would complement our existing and future retail mix. Bringing Debenhams to Watford creates more choice and appeal for our customers, meaning all our retailers can flourish.”
The project to transform Charter Place and intu Watford into a destination retail and leisure hub began on Monday 2 November 2015, as part of a multi-million pound investment plan by intu.
The process of demolishing part of the shopping centre will last for up to four months. The first stage will be removing all benches, litter bins, paving slabs and cycle racks from the area and sending them off to be used elsewhere.
Elected Mayor of Watford Dorothy Thornhill said: “Despite the scale of work, disturbance to local business will be kept to an absolute minimum. But it will help make Watford future-proof, so our town remains the wealthy and prosperous place it is today. Our town has fared exceptionally well through the recession and is now in a very strong place commercially as the economy gathers speed. At 8.4 square miles we are a very small borough, but we punch above our weight.”
The intu Watford extension project is the largest of its kind to have happened at the shopping centre since it opened in 1976. It will be funded by intu – who bought the site from Watford Borough Council in 2013. The project will create a 1.4 million sq.ft. retail and leisure destination.
Continuing their 25 years of investment in the town, intu will be creating space for up to 16 shops, 10 restaurants, a nine-screen IMAX cinema and leisure offering. A public square will be created that will host a diverse events programme, such as street art and music shows.
Councillor Mark Watkin, portfolio holder for finance, said: “We have planned this very carefully. People can expect to see some hoarding going up in the town centre, but for the most part it will be business as usual. Watford has a thriving economy as a historic location for business, industry and shopping, and we don’t expect this to change. The town is a successful commercial hub and popular place for people to live, work and visit – and the Charter Place redevelopment project will only add to this.”
Watford’s restaurant scene is on the rise as Las Iguanas, Byron and Cabana all commit to become part of intu Watford’s £100 million Charter Place redevelopment scheme. Latin American-inspired Las Iguanas has agreed a 3,500 sq ft unit, Byron a 3,700 sq ft unit, and Cabana a 3,020 sq ft unit.
The major extension plans are part of intu’s £1.3 billion UK development pipeline. The scheme will see the redeveloped Charter Place Shopping Centre integrated with the existing refurbished intu Watford shopping centre, to establish new public realms for entertainment and events, large modern retail units, a restaurant hub and cinema. Cineworld has already signed on a nine screen cinema, including an IMAX screen. Plans to refurbish the existing centre will complete the transformation of intu Watford into a single, vibrant 1.4million sq ft destination.