Ground broken for Battersea Power Station project

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his Malaysian counterpart Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday held a groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the Battersea Power Station (BPS) redevelopment in southwest London.

The event was also graced by officials from the consortium that owns the project - conglomerate Sime Darby, Malaysia's largest property developer SP Setia and the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF).

Called Circus West, the first phase comprises 866 apartments, of which 97 percent have already been sold. The £8 billion (S$15.5 billion) Battersea project will be built in eight phases, with the first phase expected to be completed by 2015.

"Soon, a thousand Londoners will call it home. It will echo to the shouts of children playing in the park, and be lit with the steady glow of commerce. After three decades of silence, the BPS is coming to life," Najib said.

Last year, the Malaysian consortium paid £400 million (S$776.5 million) for the iconic site, beating out other bidders including Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich.

With this single purchase, Malaysia has become the single largest investor in the UK for 2012, pumping in £1.4 billion (S$2.72 billion) to buy London offices and the power station site.

Ever since Phase 1 was launched for sale, its apartments have been snapped up by local and foreign investors alike. In fact, units were sold in just three days, making it the fastest-selling project on record.

"The London property market is turning around and since this is an iconic building, people just want to own a piece of it," said Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Chairman of Battersea Power Station Holding Company.

The second phase of the project, which includes restoration work for the power plant's chimneys, is expected to start by December, added Liew.

Image: Left to Right: Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, UK Prime Minister David Cameron, and Datuk Seri Najib Razak, PM of Malaysia.

Romesh Navaratnarajah, Senior Editor at PropertyGuru, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email romesh@allproperty.com.sg

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