24 October 2017

Landsec and The Crown Estate open Westgate Oxford

Westgate Oxford Alliance, a joint venture between Landsec and The Crown Estate, today opens Westgate Oxford, the 800,000 sq ft retail and leisure destination at the heart of Oxford city centre.

The £440 million development, which is 93% pre-let or in solicitors’ hands, is anchored by a 140,000 sq ft John Lewis and includes stores from Uniqlo, Primark, Ted Baker, Victoria’s Secret Pink, MAC and Tommy Hilfiger.

Westgate Oxford is one of the most sustainable retail destinations in the country. An innovative energy loop delivers heating and cooling to shops and restaurants, using air source heat pumps in place of conventional boilers. This system avoids the use of natural gas, keeping costs down for retailers and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The construction of Westgate Oxford created around 1,000 jobs, and we worked closely with social enterprise, Aspire Oxford, to create employment programmes in construction and customer service, to get ex-offenders, the long-term unemployed and those who have been homeless in the past into work. The centre itself will create 3,500 full-time-equivalent retail jobs.

A view from the rooftop garden area. 

Hannah Milne, Director of Regional at The Crown Estate, said: “We knew that we had to deliver something special for one of the world’s most famous and vibrant cities. We have worked hard with our partners at Landsec to design Westgate with the whole of Oxford in mind and created the largest retail development to launch in the UK this year, filling a much-needed retail need in the heart of the city. By combining fashion, food and film with inspiring rooftop views and bold architecture, all set within the sights and sounds of an historic British city, we believe we have created a truly game-changing shopping and leisure experience for everyone.”

Scott Parsons, Managing Director, Retail at Landsec said, “In Westgate Oxford, we have embraced the challenge of creating a best in class, sustainable development that meets the changing demands of modern customers while being sympathetic to the setting of an historical city. “Delivering an outstanding experience for visitors and retailers alike, with a dynamic combination of retail, leisure and food and beverage, has been key to attracting great brands to the centre and we are looking forward to welcoming visitors from Oxford and beyond.” 

Four different architects worked closely with masterplanners, BDP, to create distinct blocks of the development, drawing inspiration from the surrounding areas. Glenn Howells Architects was influenced by the Bodleian Library, while Panter Hudspith Architects took its inspiration from typical Oxfordian architectural features such as the impressive colonnades. Allies and Morrison drew on the evocative oak panelling in several college dining rooms and Dixon Jones, responsible for the Bonn Square façade, looked to Campion Hall on nearby Brewer Street.

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