As revealed in Property Week (news 28-05-06) John Lewis is the first retailer to commit to the 1.8m sq ft (167,224 sq m) scheme in the heart of the Olympic area.

John Lewis will invest£50m in a full range department store of 240,000 sq ft (22,296 sq m) and a 32,000 sq ft (2,972 sq m) Waitrose food store at the £4bn scheme.

John Lewis is working with landowners London & Continental Railways and Stratford City Developments, now wholly owned by Westfield, to open the new shops by autumn 2010.

Sir Stuart Hampson, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, said: ‘As the only retailer to have backed the Olympic bid campaign, I am delighted to announce the Partnership’s continuing commitment to the Olympic project with a £50m investment in a new John Lewis department store and a Waitrose in east London.

John Lewis has 27 stores and a large pipeline of proposed stores across the UK with 10 to open by 2013.

London & Continental Railways is searching for a development partner for the remainder of the 13m sq ft (1.2m sq m) scheme, including the Olympic athletes' village and housing, and up to 5m sq ft (465 sq m) of offices. A short list of two expected to be announced soon and favourites are Lend Lease; and Skanska funded by the Royal Bank of Scotland.