Minerva has brought forward the sale of a 50% stake of the Park Place retail scheme in Croydon to Lend Lease for £92.5m

Minerva first revealed that it had agreed to sell Lend Lease a 50% stake in July 2005.

Under terms of the original deal, the Australian contractor-developer was due to take possession of its stake 12 months following practical completion but both parties have agreed it was in the best interests of the scheme to accelerate the handover.

Completion of the deal is subject to Minerva shareholder approval and is conditional upon securing an anchor department store tenant, as well as a compulsory purchase order for key sites surrounding the proposed development.

Proposals for the Park Place development comprise 900,000 sq ft (83,612 sq m) of retail and leisure, including a department store and more than 120 speciality retail shops and restaurants.

Construction is expected to start in early 2008 with completion forecast for 2011.

Salmaan Hasan, chief executive of Minerva, said: ‘This agreement aligns our interests as we work towards the development and completion of the Park Place scheme.’

Speaking on behalf of Lend Lease, Nigel Hugill added: ‘Twenty-five years ago, Croydon was among the strongest 10 retail locations in the UK.

‘Although a lack of investment has brought about a fall in the UK hierarchy, there are now probably more unsatisfied requirements from major retailers for large modern space in Croydon than in any other location in the country.’