History

Hammerson was established in 1942 by Lewis Hammerson, originally  developing residential property then expanding into commercial property in  1948. Hammerson became a public company in 1954, and began a programme  of partnering with local authorities to redevelop UK cities’ retail offer. The  Company opened Brent Cross, the UK’s first covered mall, in 1976, and  expanded into French commercial property in 1985. As mentioned in the  Chief Executive’s report, Hammerson focuses on winning retail locations.

1942

Lewis Hammerson sets up company to invest in real estate, converting houses into apartments.

1948

L.W. Hammerson & Co expands into commercial property.

1954

Company goes public and changes its name to Hammerson Property and Investment Trust.

1958

Lewis Hammerson dies and is succeeded as Chairman by Sydney Mason. Focus of group shifts to office and shopping centre development.

1960s

First partnership with a local authority sees the re-development of Bradford city retail quarter.

Hammerson moves into Australia, New Zealand and the US.

1970s

The group expands into Canada and Europe.

Together with a partner, the group develops property in Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris.

1976

Opening of Brent Cross Shopping Centre, the first major enclosed shopping centre in the UK.

1982

Name of group changed to The Hammerson Property Investment and Development Corporation plc.

1989

Hostile takeover bid for Hammerson by Dutch institution Rodamco rejected by shareholders.

1993

Ron Spinney, appointed Chief Executive. Rights issue raised £200 million. Group refocuses its activities on those territories where it has critical mass.

1995

Redevelopment of 99 Bishopsgate, London EC2 completed.Hammerson acquires interest in Espace St Quentin, a major shopping centres in France and commences redevelopment of 54 boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9e.

1996

Office redevelopment site purchased at 40 rue de Courcelles, Paris 8e. Former Bull Ring shopping centre in Birmingham acquired.

1997

Hammerson achieves “Investment in People” accreditation.Office redevelopment at Globe House, London WC2, pre-let to BAT plc.

1998

Acquisition of Italie 2, Paris 13eme.Canadian interests sold.

1999

Ron Spinney appointed Chairman.John Richards appointed Chief Executive.

1999

Opening of major retail scheme, The Oracle, Reading.

2000

Opening of major retail scheme, WestQuay, Southampton.

2002

Sale of 280 Bishopsgate, London, for £219 million.Group secures largest ever pre-let in the City at Bishops Square development. Hammerson acquires publicly quoted Grantchester Holdings plc giving it critical mass in the retail parks sector.

Completion of office developments at 53 quai d’Orsay and 148 rue d’Université, Paris.

Acquisition of Bercy 2, Paris.

2003

Opening of Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham, following Europe’s largest retail-led urban regeneration project.

2004

Hammerson plc adopts the (“SIIC”) tax exempt regime for its French business.Additional 50% interest in WestQuay Shopping Centre, Southampton, acquired for £203 million.

2005

Admission of Hammerson to FTSE 100.John Nelson succeeds Ron Spinney as Chairman.

Development of Bishops Square, Spitalfields, London E1 completed showing a surplus of £157 million.

Major retail schemes started in Bristol and Leicester.

Villebon 2 retail park, near Paris, acquired for £105 million.

2006

Redevelopment started at former Stock Exchange building at 125 Old Broad Street, London EC2.Hammerson head office relocated to 10 Grosvenor Street, London W1.

2007

Hammerson adopts tax exempt REIT status in the UK.

Completion and sale of 9 place Vendome, Paris.

Acquisition of Grand Maine shopping centre in Angers, France.

2008

One London Wall, London sold for £67 million.

Major expansion and refurbishment of Highcross, Leicester opened.

Retail-led regeneration scheme, Cabot Circus in Bristol completed.

 

2009

David Atkins is appointed CEO

Union Square Aberdeen opens

 

2011

Acquisition of SQY Ouest for €38 million

Acquisition of St Martin’s retail portfolio, including Centrale, Croydon

 

2012

Announcement of change in strategy to focus on retail property

Disposal of London Office assets

Acquisition of Junction Fund retail parks portfolio

2013

Hammerson and Westfield sign Joint Venture for £1billion Croydon Town Centre regeneration