Two left as hunt for Olympics media centre nears conclusion

There are two parties left in the race for the 1m sq ft media and broadcast centres at the Olympic Park in east London after Decathlon and Loughborough University withdrew their bid, I can reveal.

Three organisations had been shortlisted to take up long leases for the whole of both buildings which in total offer around 1m sq ft of commercial space. The London Legacy Development Corporation aims to appoint the tenant this summer with the buildings available for fit out and opening from spring 2013.

The shortlisted bids were:

• Oxylane Group – a sports orientated mixed-use offer in partnership with Loughborough University. The Broadcast Centre would have become ‘Oxylane Village’ offering leisure, events space, research and education and retail including a major Decathlon store. The Press Centre would have been used as office space and a technology centre.

• UK Fashion Hub – a dedicated centre that will combine the fashion and textile manufacturing sectors to create a destination for wholesalers, buyers and the creative industries. Headed by Resolution and anchored by Brandboxx and Workspace Group, the bid involves the Broadcast Centre becoming a fashion centre with offices, an incubator, manufacturing and creative uses. The Press Centre would become a fashion college, a fashion e-tailing centre and a media centre.

• iCITY – an ‘Innovation City’ anchored by Infinity with the Broadcast Centre accommodating a cloud computing centre, research labs, post production, graphic designers and digital education. The Press Centre would become an innovation and research centre with links to higher education that would showcase British technology.

CoStar News revealed in September of last year that the BBC had shelved talks to anchor the centre with its EastEnders production at the last minute.

Oxylane has now decided not to proceed ahead of next week’s deadline for final bids.

A spokesperson for the London Legacy Development Corporation said: “Oxylane Group has withdrawn from the bidding to become the long term tenant of the Press and Broadcast Centres.

“We continue to have two strong bids from UK Fashion Hub and iCITY. Both share our vision to create a thriving commercial district that will create thousands of job and training opportunities on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and we remain on track to appoint the chosen party this summer.”

The Broadcast Centre will offer 95,000 sq ft of office space over five floors and 575,000 sq ft of commercial space over two floors. It has the flexibility to be reconfigured into four separate buildings.

The five storey Press Centre will provide around 317,000 sq ft of grade A offices with the potential for retail uses on the ground floor.

In October, the Legacy Company invited interested parties to bid to take up at least one floor in either of the buildings. Ten bids were returned by the 2 December 2011 deadline, with eight of them proposing the take up of both buildings on long leases. They covered a range of different uses including technology, digital, creative, media, sport, office, leisure and retail uses.

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About Paul Norman's Olympics blog

News Editor of CoStar News, a commercial property news service. Regular blogger on the London 2012 Olympics and what it means for property and the the regeneration of East London
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