Developer SP Setia, Malaysia’s biggest property company, which outbid Roman Abramovich to buy Battersea Power Station, insists it will press ahead with plans for 3,700 new homes and a new Northern line Tube station at the famous riverside site. The listed building’s Art Deco shell and iconic chimney stacks will become part of a new retail “plaza”.
Redevelopment of the 38-acre site will be a key part of a new waterfront district of 16,000 homes earmarked for Nine Elms. The £400 million acquisition is expected to end a long-running saga of aborted attempts by different owners to transform the power station.
The site has been on the market four times during the past 25 years. In the Eighties, tycoon John Broome worked up plans to turn it into a theme park. Treasury Holdings, the last owner, went bust owing creditors £520 million.
Despite the Malaysian deal, Chelsea owner Abramovich still harbours bold plans for Battersea and has commissioned architect Kohn Pedersen Fox to design a spectacular 60,000-seat stadium for the riverside site.
Wandsworth council is thought to be against the club’s relocation, believing this would be inappropriate in a high-end residential zone that will also include the new US embassy.
A spur of the Northern line from Kennington to Battersea is seen as vital because there will be as many as 25,000 employees working in this new district.
According to the developer, the power station project will take at least 10 years to build. But development experts believe the scheme could take twice as long to sell out.
Other Nine Elms residential schemes are coming on stream much earlier. Riverlight is the first one out of the blocks. This comprises 806 apartments in five slender towers, each topped by double-height duplexes, shaped like the prow of a ship. The first phase of 172 apartments will be completed in summer 2014. Call St James on 020 7870 9620.
Launching soon is Ballymore’s Embassy Gardens, next to the site of the new US embassy, which is expected to open in 2017.