LONDON (October 13): The most-anticipated opening of Grade II* listed Battersea Power Station will take place this Friday (Oct 14), marking the rebirth of the iconic building in London, the UK, nearly 40 years after the lights were switched off.
The Power Station is Phase 2 of the development that houses 254 apartments and more than 100 shops, restaurants and cafes. Some 500,000 sq ft of its office space will be home to Apple campus in London, while another 25,000 sq ft will be occupied by SharkNinjia.
A consortium of Sime Darby Property Bhd (40%), SP Setia Bhd (40%) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) (20%) bought the Battersea Power Station site in September 2012. The development is managed by Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC).
In March 2019, the EPF and Permodalan Nasional Bhd acquired Power Station’s commercial assets for £1.58 billion (RM8.197 billion).
The opening ceremony on Wednesday (Oct 12) was officiated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Besides the Power Station, a new pedestrianised high street called Electric Boulevard – which is part of Phase 3 development – will also be open to the public this Friday.
In conjunction with the opening ceremony, a five-day “Festival of Power” will run from Oct 14 to 16 and Oct 22 to 23, with live performances, family friendly activities, installations and more.
£5 billion GDV has been realised
Spanning across 42 acres, Battersea Power Station has a gross development value (GDV) of £9 billion (RM45.6 billion), with the overall project divided into seven phases. At a media briefing, BPSDC chairman Datuk Jagan Sabapathy said 60% of the site has been developed, with the remaining 40% within at least the next 10 years. So far, £5 billion worth of GDV has been realised.
With the opening of the Battersea Power Station underground station on the Northern Line extension, the site has been transformed into a new “15-minute” live, work, play neighbourhood with community at its core.
"Infrastructure is around us for this project, The Northern Line tube station is a big game changer for the whole area. Now, we have a few more phases, there will be greater value creation. The completion of this building adds a significant value to us and the surrounding areas. I believe Power Station will become a must-go destination in London,” Jagan explained.
The target for the whole development is to have a balanced mix of space for commercial and residential, said BPSDC CEO Simon Murphy.
“When everything is done in 2032, it would be roughly 50:50 [between commercial and residential]. We can choose based on what the market wants, but we don't want to be dominated by one asset class.”
Currently, the take-up rate for the commercial asset is 95%, with 100% for offices, said Murphy.
"For retail F&B, by the time we open on Friday, it would be north of 90%."
He went on to share that there has been a 50% increase in capital appreciation since the first launch of its residential project.
“If you had bought the Phase 1 project in 2017, your capital gain growth would have been at least 50%.”
Phase 1, dubbed Circus West Village, opened in 2017 after construction work started in July 2013.
Over £600 million property sales in past 18 months
It is worth noting is that the majority buyers of the residential units are UK nationals.
“We have very strong local supporters,” said Jagan, noting that more than £600 million (RM3.12 billion) in sales have been recorded in the past 18 months.
In conclusion, he said: “Through the enduring strength of the Malaysian-UK relationship, the extensive experience of the shareholders, and the unrelenting ambition of the Malaysian people to deliver excellence across the globe, we have reached this tremendous milestone to bring this London icon back to life.
“Not only has a new destination been created from reviving a disused power station but a thriving community has already been established since opening the first phase of the project, Circus West Village, that we are committed to nurturing for years to come.” he added.
To recap, Battersea Power Station started to supply energy in 1935 before being decommissioned in 1983. At its peak, it supplied a fifth of London’s electricity.