World tour for power station revamp

The multibillion-pound development at Battersea Power Station is being taken on a global "tour" in a bid to attract the best businesses and retailers.

Phase three of the development of Battersea Power Station. (Battersea Power Station Development/PA)
Phase three of the development of Battersea Power Station. (Battersea Power Station Development/PA)

Shareholders and representatives behind the redevelopment will market the project to 13 cities in 11 countries in October and November to find UK and global brands, businesses and restaurants to take up residence at the landmark London site.

Announcing the global tour, Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Rob Tincknell said it was vital to get the ingredients right for the "cocktail" that will form the huge development.

The £8 billion project, backed by a consortium of Malaysian investors, will see the 42-acre former brownfield site transformed into homes, shops, cafes, offices and public space, including the restoration o f the Grade II-listed power station.

Building work began in July 2013 - the building's 80th anniversary - with the overall development hoped to be completed in 2025 and the power station itself open to the public for the first time in more than 30 years in 2019.

The project is divided into seven phases, each designed by specialist architects including award-winning Frank Gehry, and once complete the development is expected to see 25,000 people living and working on site, with 40 million visits anticipated each year.

Mr Tincknell said the global tour was about finding the best overseas occupants for the site, as well as the best of British.

He said: "Because it's a mix of uses it will become much more attractive to a wider group of potential investors and occupiers.

"We want the best local tenants, the best British tenants, but we want the best international occupiers too.

"It's a carefully-curated cocktail of different uses - the offices are really important, the retail is extremely important, and the residential aspect is really important, and if we don't get each individual part right the other parts will suffer.

"That cocktail isn't going to taste right if you're missing a vital ingredient."

Mr Tincknell said the project was going "extraordinarily well" with more than 1,100 apartments already sold. He said there was clear support from the public and urged any critics to come and "see for themselves".

"The residential sales that we have done have been extraordinarily successful. We've had more demand than any scheme in London has ever achieved before," he said.

"This is a valuable investment - the commercial space at Battersea Power Station creates something like 15,000 jobs for London, it creates £1 billion of income for the British Government.

"This is an inward investment story for London. It's the total opposite of any idea of creating a 'ghost town'.

"The proof is in the pudding. We have already seen the public supporting us. We understand what makes a large mixed-use project, we're delivering that and it's being supported."

Mr Tincknell said his position at the helm of the "Everest of real estate" had become more of a "quest" than a job.

"It's a privilege to be leading the scheme and an absolute joy to be working with shareholders who really understand what makes a complex project like this work and have demonstrated such enormous commitment to London.

"They have done something which no other developer was ever able to do - they have unlocked Battersea Power Station."

"It's a challenge; we're not there yet, but we're extremely confident we're going to get there.

"The challenge is to maximise the opportunity because we can do things with this site that we couldn't do anywhere else in the world.

"I honestly believe it would be remiss of us as developers if we didn't take that opportunity."

During the tour, which will see exhibitions in London, Kuala Lumpur, New York, Dubai, Paris, Los Angeles, Milan, Tokyo, Beijing, Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Doha, developers will be looking for businesses to lease the 3.5 million sq ft of commercial space.

They will include retail and food and drink outlets, state-of-the-art leisure facilities including a new 2,000-capacity Riverside event venue, two boutique hotels, and an observation lift and viewing platform on the power station's north-west chimney.

Office space in the development will take up an area similar to that of the City of London's Gherkin, including six floors of the power station's central Boiler House.

As part of the global tour, people will be able to buy 539 of the 1,305 Gehry Partners and Foster + Partners-designed homes in phase three on a first-come first-served basis, as well as any remaining homes in phase one and phase two.

Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, chairman of the Battersea Power Station Holding Company, said: "The shareholders' ambition for Battersea Power Station is to create an amazing new urban quarter for London and one that is enjoyed both day and night.

"This is behind the drive to find the very best mix of UK and worldwide businesses to lease over 3 million sq ft of retail and office accommodation."