absentfightergnet

Westfield London, Europe's top city mall | Reuters

LONDON Europe's biggest inner-city shopping center laser cut maps opens in west London wooden maps next Thursday, just as the British economy teeters on the brink of recession.

Following are key facts about the complex, Westfield London, which has been built by Australia's Westfield WDC.AX, the world's largest retail property company by equity market value.

KEY FACTS



43 acre site, the size of Buckingham Palace and its gardens.

1.6 million square foot shopping cheap wooden maps center.

Estimated custom wood maps cost 1.7 billion pounds ($2.8 billion).

Some 265 shops.

Around 7,000 jobs created.

Over 21 million people expected to visit each year, or 60,000 a day. Westfield London is owned 50-50 by Westfield and Commerz Real Investments, an arm of Germany's Commerzbank (CBKG.DE).

SHOPS

Shops from over 15 countries and 16 brands new to the UK. About 80 percent of the total specializing in fashion.

"Anchor stores" are Debenhams (DEB.L), House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer (MKS.L), Next (NXT.L) and Waitrose JLP.UL.



40 luxury brands, including Louis Vuitton and Versace, housed within the boutique-style Village, created by U.S. architects Michael Gabellini and Kimberly Sheppard.

EATING

Nearly 50 restaurants and cafes covering 25 styles and nationalities of cooking and 6 brands new to the UK.



A cluster of 17 restaurants run the length of Southern Terrace, a 300-meter long pedestrian street of dining.

A collection of 13 counters preparing fresh food on The Balcony, a lounge-style dining area.

CONSTRUCTION

Westfield London took 13 million man-hours to build, with 8,000 people working on site in the run up to opening.

Construction used 585,000 tonnes of concrete, enough to fill 117 Olympic swimming pools.

Undulating glass roof, made up of thousands of solid and clear panels positioned to maximize natural light as the sun moves throughout the day.

A central Atrium the size of a football pitch, 16-meter wide malls made from marble with decorative swirls of granite. First-floor shop fronts 8 meters high.

96 escalators, enough to reach the top of Ben Nevis and back.

Features include staircases that appear custom wood maps to float, a sculpture of laser-cut acrylic stilettos suspended in space, and a floor made from recycled trainers.

FACILITIES

A 14-screen cinema, gym and spa will open in 2009.

A new library will serve the local community.

4,500 car parking spaces.

A 70-strong concierge and valet team.

A new overground rail station at Shepherds Bush.

Close to four underground stations, Shepherd's Bush and White City on the Central line; Wood Lane and Shepherd's Bush Market on the Hammersmith & City line.

A new bus station, White City bus station, opens in November 2008, about 70 meters from Westfield London.

Parking for 570 cycles near the main entrance.

Source: Westfield