Building work starts at new Elephant & Castle complex

Building work has started on the £1.5billion new complex which replaces one of South London’s biggest shopping hubs.

The first construction phase of creating a new Elephant & Castle began this week, almost a year after the first demolition of the 65-year-old mall.

Builders Multiplex are delivering phase two of the works, which are due to complete in early 2026 – phase one was Elephant Central on Elephant Road, completed in 2017, owned by the same company, Get Living.

The scheme, designed by Allies and Morrison, will have 135,000 sq ft of shops, restaurants and leisure and 55,000 sq ft of workspace.

There will be 485 homes to rent – 313 market rent and 172 affordable rent – and a new university campus for London College of Communication, part of the Uuniversity of the Arts London (UAL).

There will also be a new Tube station entrance and ticket hall, and “high-quality public realm”, the developers say.

Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre site in January 2022

Phase Two became possible after Get Living secured a £365m development loan from controlled affiliates of Starwood Capital Group. It represents one of the UK’s biggest development loans in the past year.

The loan, funded by Starwood Property Trust and Starwood European Real Estate Debt Finance I Limited, has a five-year term.

The third and final phase will be on UAL’s existing London College of Communication site, beside St George’s Road, following their move into their new campus. This plot will have another 498 new homes – 333 market rent, 49 affordable rent and 116 social rent – plus shops and a 500-capacity venue.

Rick de Blaby, CEO, Get Living, said: “This marks a significant moment in the journey to deliver a thriving new town centre for Elephant & Castle. Following extensive consultation and planning activity, construction will now start on the major redevelopment of Elephant & Castle town centre incorporating much needed new homes, restaurants, shops, a university, workspace, leisure and cultural facilities, transport infrastructure and acres of new public realm. This investment in Elephant & Castle is integral to Southwark Council’s wider regeneration plan for the area and we are ever conscious of the responsibility to deliver wider social value for all.”

Diana Barranco, Community Director at Elephant & Castle Town Centre, added: “With the scheme now certain and the establishment of local retailers at Castle Square, we look forward to continuing to work closely with the local community through the next stages of the build. Through working together with local stakeholders, we will see the new town centre help rejuvenate the wider area, and ensure Elephant and Castle continues to be one of London’s most dynamic and vibrant destinations for years to come.”

Michael Waters, Project Director, Multiplex for Elephant & Castle Town Centre, said: “Having worked closely with the development team over the past two years, we are excited to get started on construction and deliver this transformational project for Elephant & Castle and the wider area.

“We are extremely proud to be entrusted with the delivery of one of Central London’s largest regeneration schemes and will continue to work with Southwark Council, and other local organisations, to ensure local people are fully involved in the construction process.  This includes partnering with local schools, colleges, employment agencies and our subcontractors to create significant opportunities for wide-ranging work experiences, and offering more than 70 apprenticeships and an estimated 300 new jobs.

“The Project team takes great pride in working with the local community to ensure the construction process has a positive impact on the surrounding local businesses, and opens up opportunities for some of those businesses to work in collaboration to provide services during the construction works.

“This is one of Multiplex’s flagship projects and will deliver our Net Zero Carbon Pathway: One Decade to Act, which includes trialling a first of its kind battery system to reduce our reliance on the national grid combined with renewable energy onsite and also offsite from our Power Purchase Agreement. Sustainability has truly been built into the design and this will be validated by achieving the BREEAM 2014 assessments which range from Very Good to Excellent.”



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