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Hogan Lovells hosts the Reading Real Estate Foundation Breakfast Forum on the Battersea Power Station Development

Panoramic views and amenities galore are on the menu at Battersea Power Station.  The sold out Breakfast Forum event featured presentations by:

– Alistair Shaw, Chief Development Officer, Battersea Power Station Development Company;
– Natalie Lintott, Partner, Cushman & Wakefield; and
– Matthew Townend, Head of Residential, Battersea Power Station Development Company.

Alistair gave an interesting overview of the mixed use development of Battersea Power Station, which will form part of the regeneration currently underway of the wider Nine Elms area. The development will benefit from the £1 billion extension of the Northern Line to create two new stations at Nine Elms and Battersea. The majority of BPS’s section 106 contribution of around £250M will go towards the Northern Line extension which should open in 2020. From the new Battersea tube station, it is envisaged that a “two tier” high street will be created leading to the iconic building.

Alistair also described their vision for the scheme. Early plans for Europe’s largest brick building include:

– office space for around 5,000 people;
– 200 retail and restaurant units;
– a performance venue;
– acres of public space;
– a focus on maintaining the heritage and history of the building and keeping a number of original features including possibly using the vast control rooms as restaurants;
– keeping the turbine rooms unobstructed to maintain the ‘cathedral’ effect;
– a full height void to provide views of the internal walls and chimneys;
– a public lift inside one of the famous chimneys with a viewing platform at the top giving panoramic views of London.

Natalie gave an insight into the proposals and challenges facing the retail aspects of the development. Natalie explained that the retail mix is of great importance, as they want the retail areas to be seen as neither high end nor mass market, but rather “best in class”. The overall aim is to create a shopping destination rather than a shopping centre, with comparative examples of the Brighton Lanes, Carnaby Street, Regent Street and Covent Garden being listed. Interestingly, there are no proposals to have anchor tenants; maintaining the non-shopping centre feel.

Matthew outlined some of the challenges faced in creating residential property within an English heritage building. These include the layout of windows dictating the size of apartments, access for residential tenants that don’t cut through retail areas, and the need to ensure the public spaces don’t impede the residential units. The residential units in the main building are due to go to the market in May of this year!

The innovative approach to retail mix and the stunning architecture mean that the project is already proving a hit with residential purchasers and the press alike.