After a short bidding process, the right to redevelop Battersea Power Station has been won by a pair of Malaysian property companies, SP Setia and Sime Darby, in a deal worth £400m.
Forgive the cynicism, but this isn’t the first time that a lot of money has changed hands over a site that has been derelict for nigh on three decades. The Hwang company of Hong Kong acquired it in the mid-1990s, before selling it on for £400m a decade later to Irish firm Real Estate Opportunities. The latter managed to get a redevelopment plan green-lit, only to fall into administration last year, prompting the recent open-market sale. Lee Jackson has compiled what must be the definitive guide to Battersea’s woeful post-power generating years.
In recent months Battersea’s future has been widely speculated on. Allies & Morrison drew up a plan to convert it into a concert venue, while Terry Farrell imagined it as a partially ruined urban park. Most dramatically, Chelsea FC entered the bidding process, hoping to build a new stadium within its walls. The new owners, however, are likely to press on with the approved 2010 plan, which would see the station converted into commercial & retail space and “one of the largest ballrooms in Europe”. They’ll also pony up the money for long-planned Northern line extension to the site.