Around the block: Battersea development meets strong demand

Redeveloped Battersea Power Station site looks set to become a hip London locale. Photograph: Getty Images

Redeveloped Battersea Power Station site looks set to become a hip London locale. Photograph: Getty Images

Thu, May 8, 2014, 13:47

Cynics who almost choked on the news in 2006 that Treasury Holdings had paid a fortune for the crumbling Battersea Power Station in London will be slow to acknowledge that they may have got it wrong simply because they didn’t share Treasury’s belief in the true potential of the site.

Battersea now looks set to become one of the most sought-after locations in London.

Property followers will remember that Treasury’s subsidiary REO paid a formidable £400 million (€532 million) for the old power station and later launched a £4 billion redevelopment plan for the 38-acre grounds on the banks of the river Thames. The grandiose scheme was eventually scuppered when Nama and the various banks forced the winding up of the Ronan/Barrett empire with debts of €2.7 billion.

Battersea was sold to a group of Malaysian investors for about £400 million and they secured planning approval for a development expected to include at least 3,500 homes, offices for about 5,000 people, 200 shops and restaurants, a performance venue, hotel and a six-acre park.

When units in the first phase went on sale last January, they sold out in four days, netting £600 million mainly from Asian investors. There was an equally strong demand last week from UK buyers for the second phase when the cheapest unit, a mere bedsit, was priced from £800,000, two-bed apartments cost from £1.5 million; three-bedroom units started at £2.7 million and four-bedroom apartments were available at £4 million.

Looks like Treasury are the big losers here, along with Nama and the banks.