Big day for Stratford as Olympic Village plans come forward

It feels like another important day for east London, inspired by the Olympics and Stratford International developments.

Today the parties behind the redevelopment of the Olympic Village – Qatari Diar and Delancey for the private element and Triathlon Homes the affordable element – have unveiled their plans. Significantly, the Qatari Diar/Delancey plans represent one of the largest one-off private sector bets on the private rented sector in the UK.

The partners are clearly hugely proud of what they are trying to achieve. The story is below. And then below that is another story I have written today on the interest being generated by the first OPLC marketed family housing development at the park and the Media centre.

It is one of those days when it feels like everything is coming together at the site and a useful tonic in the face of today’s NAO report into the continuing increase in taxpayer funding for the project.

Here are both tales:

Qatari Diar and Delancey and the Triathlon Homes joint venture have unveiled plans for the East Village, their redevelopment of the London 2012 Olympic Village in east London.

The partners said the “first leading legacy neighbourhood for London, situated on the doorstep of The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park … will be ready for residents to move into in 2013”.

QDD (a joint venture between Qatari Diar Real Estate Development Company and Delancey) and Triathlon Homes (a joint venture between First Base, East Thames Group and Southern Housing Group) said the neighbourhood will initially deliver 2,818 new homes.

In addition to 1,439 private homes mainly available to rent, there will be 1,379 affordable homes offering the choice of buying or renting to people with a range of income levels.

The partners said the “modern neighbourhood breaks the mould for UK residential developments dominated by a short term developer/trader model and disparate, often absent private landlords, and responds to the capital’s housing crisis and the needs of Londoners for high quality, long term homes”.

It added: “Combining inspiring design by a number of the world’s leading architects, East Village will provide more accessibility, space, stability, security and world-class facilities than any other London residential development.

The site will be home to over 6,000 Londoners in a space equivalent to St James’s Park.

East Village offers residents:

• A choice of 1 bedroom apartments to 4 bedroom townhouses, all designed by 16 leading architects and offering open-plan layouts, balconies and winter gardens

• Tree lined streets, open parkland, private courtyard gardens, wetlands and proximity to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

• 30 local shops, cafes and restaurants

• An education campus, Chobham Academy, which will offer first class education to 1,800 students aged between 3 and 19 from 2013

• A state-of-the-art Medical Centre which will provide East Village with over 60 different medical services

• Europe’s largest shopping centre, Westfield Stratford City, five minutes’ walk away

• Leisure facilities in the Olympic Park and beyond

Speaking on behalf of QDD, Stuart Corbyn, said “East Village will be a place for everybody to enjoy the best of city living; new homes will be joined by first class education, outstanding sports and leisure facilities, local shops, cafes and restaurants, and unrivalled connections to the rest of the capital. This will be one of the most exciting places to live in London.

“East Village provides much needed homes, investment and jobs in East London, and reconfirms Qatari Diar and Delancey’s commitment to the local community, quality, partnership and sustainability.”

Elliot Lipton, director of Triathlon Homes said “Our vision is to deliver a neighbourhood that provides the very best quality homes and services to its residents and one which fosters a welcoming, inclusive, safe and vibrant community. The East Village is at the heart of the wider transformation of east London.”

Ralph Luck, director of property at the Olympic Delivery Authority, which is developing the Village, said: “The East Village will become a significant new community within London, surrounded by world-class sports venues, enviable shopping facilities and excellent transport links. A key part of the Games Bid was to create a lasting residential legacy and the ODA is delivering on that commitment as part of the sale of the Village to QDD and Triathlon, with the naming of the neighbourhood as the first major step in bringing identity to this thriving new destination and establishing it as the place of choice to live in London.”

And now for the OPLC:

The Olympic Park Legacy Company said this morning it had generated “extensive interest” in both the 940,000 sq ft press and broadcast centres and the first residential neighbourhood to be developed after the Games.

The City Hall and government-owned body was updating on responses to last Friday’s closing date for organisations to register interest in the two opportunities to invest in east London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

The OPLC said 12 “high-profile” developers came forward to compete to become the development partner for Chobham Manor. Parties understood to have bid include Barratt Homes and Berkeley.

The neighbourhood will have around 800 homes with 70% of them offering family housing. Construction will begin in 2013, with the first homes being ready in 2015.

The OPLC said 10 companies have bid to be significant tenants of the Press and Broadcast Centre with approaches ranging from the minimum occupation of one floor in either building to the complete take up of each building on long leases.

The Legacy Company will shortlist bidders in the New Year.

CoStar revealed last week that Workspace, the listed flexible workspace provider with a £733m property portfolio, has agreed to develop around 150,000 sq ft of offices for small-to-medium sized businesses as part of the Resolution-backed consortium’s plans for the 940,000 sq ft centre.

The company would be the bid team’s second largest anchor after Brandboxx, which will operate a 200,000 sq ft B2B fashion centre for buyers and sellers and a 90,000 sq ft B2B sports fashion centre.

Data centre operator Infinity is also understood to have bid to lease the 940,000 sq ft London 2012 media centre after the games, and turn it into a data centre and tech hub.

In terms of potential other bidders to buy and develop the centre, CoStar News revealed in September that the BBC had dropped plans to move its Eastenders production to the centre.

CoStar also revealed that sports retail giant Decathlon is proposing a sporting retail hub, centre and academy at the site, and Spanish company Micropolix, which specialises in theme parks for children, is set to bid.

The Wellcome Trust is understood to have not bid after initially proposing a bid for much of the park including the press and broadcast centre.

To encourage interest, the OPLC, advised by CBRE, published a list of 21 potential occupiers that have indicated interest in moving to the centre post Games two week agao.

Among these Trumans is looking to take 20,000 sq ft for a brewery and pub, Channel 5 wants to take more than 20,000 sq ft of space for studios, archives and post-production, and UCL alongside Loughborough University wants to develop a Cell Therapy Technology & Innovation Centre of more than 80,000 sq ft. The Institute of Black Culture, Media, and Sport is looking to introduce an education, training, and sport facility of 50,000 sq ft.

Andrew Altman, chief executive of the OPLC, said: “We have received an extremely strong response to the Press and Broadcast Centre and Chobham Manor opportunities. Such market interest in the current economic climate is testament to the private sector’s confidence in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

“Our plans for the Olympic Park after the Games are more advanced than any other Olympic host city and we will continue this pace by appointing tenants and a development partner before the 2012 Games have even started.”

The body added that progress to secure the future of the Legacy Company’s other venues continues to gather pace with the upcoming appointment of operators for the Aquatics Centre, Multi-Use Arena (known as Handball in Games-time), the ArcelorMittal Orbit, as well as a contract to maintain the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Shortly, the Legacy Company will also open the bidding process for organisations interested in becoming tenants and occupants of the multi-use Olympic Stadium.

The Company will also announce the winners for two separate design competitions for the north and south Park areas.

The centrepiece will be a major public space sitting in between ArcelorMittal Orbit, the Olympic Stadium and the Aquatics Centre in the south of the Park. The north Park competition involves the design of a Visitor Centre and a major playground in the green landscaped parkland that sits either side of the river Lea.

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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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