Legacy Corporation’s smoking new chairman

London mayor Boris Johnson has appointed Daniel Moylan, a Conservative councillor, to replace Baroness Margaret Ford as chairman of the London Legacy Development Corporation. I do not know anything about Mr Moylan, and I presume he is a terrific candidate. Equally I am the last one to begrudge a man a little joy in this world, even if it isn’t particularly good for his health. But I do think he might want to change the picture on the homepage of his website given that he is now chairing the “Olympics” Legacy Development Corporation. I am not sure there are too many Olympians who openly promote smoking!
Any way here is the story.

Birmingham born Moylan is a former civil servant and banker. He has been a Conservative councillor in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea since 1990 and was Deputy Leader of the Council from 2000 to 2011. He also chairs the Mayor’s Design Advisory Panel and is a non-executive director of the Glanmore Property Fund.

Baroness Ford is due to step down in September by which time the Corporation aims to have selected its preferred partners for the two key legacy venues – the Olympic Stadium and the international press and broadcast centre.

The Localism Act 2011 provided that the Mayor could designate any area of land in Greater London as a mayoral development area. It also ensured that the Legacy Development Corporation has planning powers for the included sites taken on from the affected Boroughs.

The development area comprises: the core Olympic Park, comprising land owned by Olympic Park Legacy Company and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, including Eton Manor; the Olympic Village and associated development sites owned by London & Continental Railways Ltd and (until recently) the Olympic Delivery Authority; the Stratford City development site, including the Westfield Shopping Centre and Chobham Farm; Hackney Wick and Fish Island; Bromley-by-Bow North (with a southern boundary at the District Line); Pudding Mill Lane and Sugarhouse Lane; Three Mills and Mill Meads; Carpenters Estate.

pnorman@costar.co.uk

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Media centre bidders beef up for final strait

French retailer Decathlon has teamed up with UK Fashion Hub to become one of the two remaining bidders to redevelop the London 2012 international broadcast and press centre post Games, while Loughborough University is backing rival bidder iCity I understand.

The jostling among the interested parties in the centre appears to have come at the behest of the Legacy company and means that there are two fairly formidable bids left on the table – great news for Hackney Wick and the overall regeneration of the Olympics area.

Decathlon, which is owned by Oxylane the privately owned French company that wants to commit £1bn to develop around 30 villages across the UK over the next 10 years, and Loughborough had been bidding together as the Oxylane Group.

They were proposing to take up long leases for both buildings which in total offer around 1m sq ft of commercial space and develop a sports-orientated mixed-use offer.

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.

Final bids were due in this Wednesday from Oxylane and rival bids from UK Fashion Hub and iCity. However, CoStar Newsrevealed last week that Oxylane had pulled out.

Decathlon and Loughborough have been encouraged instead to back the other two remaining bidders. Loughborough University is understood to be prepared to work with both bids.

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 are now:

• iCITY – an ‘Innovation City’ anchored by Infinity and in partnership with Loughborough 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. Loughborough would take space at the press centre to provide up to 1,000 Loughborough students with a teaching and research campus.

• 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 is now also supported by Decathlon. It 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.

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.

The Broadcast Centre will offer 95,000 sq ft of offices 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.

pnorman@costar.co.uk

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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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Aitch’s Olympic resi tower gets consent

A significant Olympics scheme got the go-ahead last night from the Olympic Development Authority after five years of toing and froing. It’s interesting in part because I am assured that the group behind the plans are a genuine East End business collective. Aitch Group, which fronts the plans, is apparently so-called because its founders name begins with an H and so he has become known as “Aitch”.

Anyway last night an Aitch Group led group gained final consent for a major residential-led scheme on Stratford high street overlooking the Olympic Park.

2-12 Stratford High StreetThe planning permission from the Olympic Delivery Authority for the scheme at 12-21 Stratford High Street follows a five-year planning battle.

The ODA has formally issued permission for the residential-led scheme, which comprises two towers of 35 and 15 storeys linked by a four-storey podium block. The scheme will include 191 private apartments and commercial start-up units on the lower storeys.

The Aitch consortium will now consider whether to sell on the site or develop itself.

Planning consultant Montagu Evans and architect Jestico & Whiles have been advising on the development of the gateway. This has involved extensive discussions with the two statutory authorities – Newham council and the ODA.

Given the proposed height and prominence of the site, the parties have had to undertake extensive consultations and discussions with statutory and non-statutory bodies such as CABE, the Environment Agency, British Waterways, and the Greater London Authority.

A landscaped public space will be created on the riverside – River Lee & Bow Back Rivers – with pedestrian routes through the site linking to the existing footbridge to the surrounding area, including Stratford High Street.

The ground and first floors of both blocks will contain commercial spaces, with a two-storey gym in the base of the taller building.

pnorman@costar.co.uk

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Steve Norris for Olympic Tsar?

This one is I am afraid too good to check.

One of the topics doing the rounds at MIPIM, the annual property jamboree in Cannes last week, was who will replace Baroness Margaret Ford as the chair of the Olympic Development Agency when she retires in September. By then it will of course have a wider remit and planning powers because it will becomes Boris’s new Mayoral Development Corporation in April.

One name kept cropping up as being favourite among the great and the good, and I have to report that name was Steve Norris, the former Tory vice-chairman who also ran to be mayor for the Tory Party in 2004 and 2008. As Minister for Transport Norris was heavily involved in the Jubilee Line Extension which has endeared him to the east London property community. He is also pursuing a significant development scheme around Forest Gate station via his Obsidian Regeneration and is also chairman of Soho Estates.

One well-placed source said: “Steve must be the favourite. He is friends with Boris, he knows London inside and he is popular in the East End.” Watch this space I guess.

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Boris puts HQ money where his mouth is at Stratford City

Australian shopping centre giant Westfield has done it again at its Stratford Olympics size, signing Boris’s new Mayoral Development Corporation for a headquarters development, I can reveal. It’s a good tenant for the fledgling office development and also shows Boris putting his money where his mouth is and supporting the Olympics development.

The details are as follows:

Westfield has signed the new Mayoral Development Corporation for a 21,000 sq ft headquarters at its £1.45bn Stratford City scheme opposite the Olympics Stadium .

The MDC, which officially launches as the London Legacy Development Corporation on 1 April, has taken a 10-year lease at One Stratford Place. The building is the 128,431 sq ft first phase of offices being developed within Westfield’s Stratford City shopping centre, offices and housing complex. Rents are understood to be around £35 per sq ft.

The MDC – the mayor’s first Docklands-style development corporation – joins Coral Bookmaker which took 30,793 sq ft of offices at the end of last year.

Team GB has already signed a short-term lease on the eighth floor at the building.

The 10-storey One Stratford Place is the first phase of offices to be delivered at Westfield Stratford City.

Post-games, Westfield plans to deliver a further 1m sq ft of offices in three further phases and, advised by CB Richard Ellis and Cushman & Wakefield, has been talking to major occupiers about prelet opportunities.

The building is located at the end of the pedestrian footbridge which leads into the Olympic Park and commands views across the entire Olympic site, the City of London and Canary Wharf. It includes 21,000 sq ft floor plates.

One Stratford Place will be the home of the British Olympic Association (BOA) during the 2012 Olympics. Team GB will take occupation of 21,000 sq ft on the eighth floor of the building from January 2012.

Following the conclusion of the Olympic Games the space will be handed over to the British Paralympic Association to support Paralympics GB.

CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield acted for Westfield. Gerald Eve acted for Coral.

The LLDC will continue the work of the Olympic Park Legacy Company as well as managing some of the assets and responsibilities of existing regeneration agencies in the area, such as the Thames Gateway Development Corporation.

pnorman@costar.co.uk

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Baroness Ford on her Olympic legacy

I got the chance to chat to Baroness Margaret Ford today following the announcement that she is stepping down as chair of the London Development Legacy Corporation in September. Mainly she focused on the many achievements during her busy period at the helm of the UK’s most significant regeneration project. Here is the interview:

Baroness Margaret Ford is “adamant” anchor tenants will be secured for the 2012 Olympic Stadium and press and broadcast centres before she steps down as chair of the London Development Legacy Corporation in September she vowed today in an exclusive interview with CoStar News about her time in the role.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson announced this morning that Ford – a driving force in the masterplanning and leasing of the venues and spaces at the 500-acre Olympic Park in Stratford, east London – is to step down from her role as chair of the London Development Legacy Corporation a month after the Games ends.

A spokesman for the GLA said this morning that it would begin the process of finding a replacement to take over what is one of UK property’s biggest jobs in “due course”.

Speaking exclusively to CoStar News, Ford said the announcement had been made this week because nominations were due in from the mayor on his proposed chair for his new Olympic Mayoral Development Corporation, which will subsume the work of the Olympic Park Legacy Company to become the London Development Legacy Corporation.

Ford said she had informed Johnson of her decision to move on to other work after the Games in November of last year.

She is already a chairman and director of May Gurney Integrated Services, a non-executive director at Grainger and president of the UK charity Epilepsy Action and is to take over as chair of residential care operator Barchester Healthcare next year.

She was raised to the peerage as Baroness Ford, of Cunninghame in North Ayrshire 2006.

Looking forward Ayreshire-born Ford said it was probably right that the next chair of the regeneration body was immersed in London. “When I took on the role I reported jointly to the mayor and central government. I work in London but I do not live here and I think it would be appropriate if now that the new body has moved to being more broadly London focused and owned by the mayor alone and reporting directly into the London Assembly that the next person is particularly embedded in London civic society.”

Ford said there was still much to do before she moved on, not least the ongoing process of securing anchor tenants for the 2012 Stadium and the 1m sq ft Broadcast and Media Centre, as well as a development partner for the first 800 homes to be built within the Olympic Park.

The stadium is proving the most problematic at present with the OPLC having abandoned an original agreement to sell the venue to West Ham last October amid concerns over delays caused by legal challenges from Tottenham and Leyton Orient.

The stadium will now remain in public ownership after the Games and will be rented out from 2014 to the successful bidder. Around 16 parties have bid and are being considered, although West Ham remains clear favourite.

Ford refused to be drawn on the bidding parties or indeed on which of the three parties bidding for the press and broadcast centres she favours but vowed: “I am really adamant that we will have the anchor tenants in place before I step down.”

Reflecting on her period as chair of the OPLC, a role she took on in 2009, Ford said there were four or five stand-out achievements of which she was particularly proud.

“I am most proud of the recasting of the masterplan for the Olympic park carried out by Andrew Altman and the team, taking the focus towards family housing and returning the London vernacular to the proposals.”

The original masterplan for the Olympic Park, drawn up by architects EDAW, KCAP and Allies & Morrison in 2008-2009 for the London Development Agency, envisaged between 10,000 and 12,000 homes in six village developments at the park – just one of which would provide low-rise family homes.

Ford and Andrew Altman, the 48-year-old former deputy mayor of Philadelphia who is chief executive of the OPLC, revised the plans to propose 8,000 principally family houses in lower-density neighbourhoods.

Ford added: ”I am also proud of the restructuring of the (London Development Agency-inherited) debt associated with the park and the securing of the freehold we achieved which has given us the chance to create long-term value.”

Ford is referring to a period of hard bargaining in 2010 that ensured the then new Coalition government rubberstamped a crucial £438m land deal that saw the 500-acre Olympic Park transferred debt-free to the Olympic Park Legacy Company.

“We also secured a really significant capital settlement in the Comprehensive Spending Review which ensured we were able to finish the park.”

Ford also pointed out that every venue accepting the Stadium and press and broadcast centres had been “settled with no more money required from the public purse”.

“Nobody would have thought this would have been possible at this stage and these are things that can’t be unpicked.”

Mayor Johnson this morning confirmed his formal decision to create a Mayoral Development Corporation responsible for the “regeneration legacy” from the London 2012 Games.

Johnson has begun a search for six new members of the Board CoStar News can reveal to replace Sir Bob Kerslake and Tessa Sanderson, who have moved on already, and Ranjit Singh Baxi, Nick Bitel, Aman Delvi and Elizabeth McMahon who are also stepping down.

The new body, to be called the London Legacy Development Corporation, will be directly accountable to Londoners through the Mayor and will subsume the Olympic Park Legacy Company, which was jointly controlled by City Hall and central government.

The Corporation, which opens for business on 1 April 2012, will continue the work of the Olympic Park Legacy Company, as well as taking on some extra assets and responsibilities from existing regeneration agencies in the area, such as the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation.

Significantly the Corporation will have greater powers over the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and a wider area including planning and development control.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “We have an extraordinarily exciting period ahead. Building on the momentum already created by the Legacy Company we are on track to grasp this unique opportunity and harness the Olympic legacy of new jobs, new homes and new communities which Londoners will benefit from for years to come.

“I am grateful for Margaret’s huge contribution over the last three years planning and delivering a solid 2012 legacy and delighted she will oversee this important work until after the Games as well as setting the new Legacy Corporation on a firm footing.”

The Localism Act 2011 provides that the Mayor may designate any area of land in Greater London as a mayoral development area. Importantly a mayoral development area passes over planning powers for the included sites from the affected Boroughs to the mayor. Today’s vote centred on a development area comprising:

• The core Olympic Park, comprising land owned by Olympic Park Legacy Company and the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, including Eton Manor

• The Olympic Village and associated development sites owned by London & Continental Railways Ltd and (until recently) the Olympic Delivery Authority

• The Stratford City development site, including the Westfield Shopping Centre and Chobham Farm

• Hackney Wick and Fish Island

• Bromley-by-Bow North (with a southern boundary at the District Line)

• Pudding Mill Lane and Sugarhouse Lane

• Three Mills and Mill Meads

• Carpenters Estate

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