WestQuay is a shopping centre in Southampton, United Kingdom, and has an area of 800,000 square feet (70,000 m2) of retail space and contains around a 150 shops, including major retailers such as, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, Zara, Schuh, Waterstone's, Hollister Co., Bank, Apple, and many more top brand names.
It is situated in the centre of the city, close to the docks, with entrances on the main High Street (Above Bar Street), on Portland Terrace, through Waterstone's and through John Lewis. There is also a built in multi-storey car park with an entrance into the centre along with a 3 tier car park beneath. Building work began in 1997 as the former Daily Echo building and Pirelli Cable Works were demolished to make way for the centre. The centre was opened on 28 September 2000.
The building is heated using geothermal energy, as is the civic centre. A centralised plant uses heat from an aquifer underground and then distributes it to the buildings in the city centre via a district heating scheme.
The John Lewis store replaced the local department store Tyrrell & Green (a branch of the John Lewis Partnership), which met with mixed emotions from the local people. Marks & Spencer re-located from Above Bar Street to take the second anchor store.
There have been a few major changes to the centre's shops since its opening. Tower Records (which faced fierce competition from the HMV store across the street) was replaced with a Nike store, which closed after just a few months. This unit is now Pret A Manger, a sandwich retailer. Waitrose moved to Portswood in 2006 and the old Waitrose space has now been replaced by New Look, which was originally located in a smaller store a floor above. The former New Look store is now River Island.
In mid May 2009 the first Hollister Store to be opened outside of the extended London area opened in WestQuay, this is considered to be a major coup for West Quay as it reflects well on the strength of the retail offering available within WestQuay.
WestQuay has been constructed on the former site of the Pirelli Cable Works and the 1960s Arundel Towers development (two office tower blocks above a multistorey car park) and it measures approximately ¼ of a mile from one end of the site to the other.
Demolition of the previous buildings began in September 1997 and WestQuay opened on 28 September 2000.
The development crosses over three major roads: The 20 m support structure from the two-storey glazed retail link over Portland Terrace weighs 400 tonnes, and Western Esplanade, opened in 1900 to link the Royal Pier with the West (now Central) Railway Station, was cut in half by the centre. Harbour Parade is crossed by a footbridge to the adjacent multistorey car park.
It absorbs a 4½ metre change in ground level between east and west boundaries and the length of the mall from Above Bar to Harbour Parade is 400 m, and on top of the mall, The rooflights extend to around 350 m in length. There are a total of 32 lifts throughout the development. The steelwork took 20 weeks to design, order and manufacture, 13 tower cranes worked on the site. The tallest crane had a 66 m mast and a reach of 65 m.
Southampton's nearby Geothermal Heat Station supplies heat and chilling facilities to the centre.
The WestQuay has had many adverts on television in the local region, particularly in the months leading up to Christmas.
WestQuay has appeared briefly on an episode in the first series of Trinny & Susannah Undress on ITV and on an episode of Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway.
There were original plans to refurbish the slope up from the High Street in 2010. These works would include the replacement of many shop fronts and the pulling up of the floor. As of September 2014, no further action had been taken on these plans.
During the late-2000s, Hammerson has thought up plans for a £70 million extension entitled Watermark WestQuay. In December 2012, the model of the master plan was unveiled to the public. On 11 April 2013, it was announced that Hammerson has submitted the planning application to Southampton City Council, on which the council approved the outline planning application on 23 July 2013.
Then, on 14 April 2014, Hammerson submitted detailed designs for phase one of its Watermark WestQuay scheme to Southampton City Council. On 25 June 2014, the designs for phase one of the development has been approved. With the new name of WestQuay Watermark, the building work for phase one began in January 2015, with the closing of the existing walkway and the demolition of the entrance ramp.
The first phase comprises a landmark 10 screen cinema, which was owned by Showcase Cinemas as part of the Cinema De Lux brand, a bowling alley from Hollywood Bowl, and up to 20 restaurants (including Wahaca, Zizzi, Byron Hamburgers, Five Guys, Nando's, Bill's Restaurant, Jamie's Italian, Cabana, Comso, Cau, Red Dog Saloon, All Bar One and T.G.I. Friday's as of March 2016) alongside a major high quality public piazza.
During summer 2012, the food terrace was re-developed. Completed by the Autumn of 2012, the updated food terrace had new restaurants, including: Wagamama; Café Rouge; Pizza Express; Ed's Easy Diner; and Tortilla Mexican Grill. The existing restaurants (McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Harry Ramsden's, and Toby's Carvery) were also refurbished.
The outside terrace area became enclosed for all-weather access, with the seating updated to include a mixture of soft and hard furnishings; and inside, a glass bridge was installed, linking Café Rouge with Wagamama. The food terrace was rebranded as 'Dining at WestQuay', for a more casual dining option.
As of March 2016, Café Rouge was replaced by The Handmade Burger Company, and Toby's Carvery was converted into a Subway.