THE ARCADIA Centre is to be redeveloped and almost all its traders have been told to leave to make way for a large Morrisons supermarket if plans are approved by the town hall.
The centre in Ealing Broadway will be reconfigured from 25 small shops into three large units and it will be renamed 1-8 The Broadway.
McDonalds will stay, moving to the old HMV unit, and TK Maxx will expand over the entire first floor. Morrisons will take most of the ground floor, about 47,000 square feet, creating 300 full and part-time jobs.
Many of the traders have already closed and those who remain have mixed views about being forced to get out. Everyone the Gazette spoke to said they would be keeping their jobs but relocated to other stores.
Fawad Khan, manager at Westside Urban clothes shop, said: “I'll have to go to another branch but I'm not happy about it. It's fun working in Ealing. It's a nice area. I've been here five years.”
Anita manager of Perfume and Cosmetics said: “I’ve been here nine years. It used to be booming but six or seven years ago it changed. It’s because there used to be better shops in Ealing. It’s sad to have to leave but what can you do about it?”
Ren Roly, assistant manager at Bardo clothes shop, was positive about the change. She said: “We’re going to find somewhere else in Ealing. There will be more customers; there are not many customers here.”
Architects Allies and Morrison have designed a new centre with a new main entrance on the corner of Springbridge Road and The Broadway. It will feature large windows under a terracotta illuminated lantern with a clock. The rest of the exterior will be given a facelift with new windows.
Peter Cornforth, Director of Retail at Benson Elliot, said: “Our vision is to resuscitate the struggling Arcadia Centre. Given the number of vacant units on high streets up and down the country, we see this as a major vote of confidence in Ealing.”
Matthew McMillan, chief executive of Ealing Broadway Business Improvement District said: “Ealing is on the up. With British Land recently buying the Broadway Centre, Land Securities coming on board for the Cinema Quarter development and St George’s success at Dickens Yard, business and investor confidence in Ealing is really gathering pace.”
The new-look centre is expected to be open by Christmas 2014.
Benson Elliot own a 2.8 acre site in the town centre including all the retail units from the Arcadia Centre to Carphone Warehouse near Ealing Broadway station, at a cost of about £45million.
It will consult about plans for the rest of the site later in the spring.