There really never is a dull day if you are working on the Olympics development.
First thing to say, I have been a tad remiss on the Olympics blog recently as all of my energies have been devoted to the launch of a new commercial property news service in the UK. Fortunately, we go live next Tuesday and I will have a lot more time to focus on all things Olympics.
That’s good because it is getting fairly complicated again.
Away from all of the shenanigans between Spurs, the Sunday Times and West Ham over the stadium – and it really is hard to make head nor tail of it all – the Wellcome Trust has taken the opportunity to make a final push to wrest control of everything else at the 500-acre park.
There were rumours circling last week that the Trust had dropped its bid for the Athletes Village. These were fiercely rebuffed – and convincingly too I must say – when I phoned the Trust. Perhaps it all had something to do I now think with two interesting stories that have appeared today.
The Hackney Gazette carries images of the Wellcome Trust’s fledgling proposals for a life and science centre within the problem 2012 media and broadcast centre. What a wonderful solution this would be for all concerned on so many levels.
However, this article in the Financial Times makes it clear that the Wellcome Trust will be withdrawing its interest in this project if it does not also get the chance from the Olympic Delivery Authority to raise capital from the sale of the 2,800 private homes at the Olympic Village.
The ball has been well and truly thrown into the ODA’s court. The problem is, as the FT points out, rival village bidders Qatari Diar and Delancey and Hutchison Whampoa are unlikely to take a decision in favour of the Wellcome Trust without raising a few uncomfortable questions about the entire process.
It should be an interesting few days.