Some of London’s ailing new homes schemes may have been thrown a lifeline by the decision of technology giant Apple to occupy all six floors of a refurbished Battersea Power Station.
A series of assessments have been highly critical of housing schemes on the Battersea site itself and not far away at Nine Elms.
Investment company London Central Portfolio – using data provided by London Residential Market Analysis – says square foot prices at Nine Elms are currently around down eight per cent on their 2014 high, even though values across the capital as a whole have risen an average of 23 per cent in the same period.
Inner London’s planning pipeline – in 11 inner boroughs – is up 20 per cent since 2013 with 106,208 new units approved for development: some 18,665 are within the area containing both Battersea and Nine Elms.
However, the move by Apple – which is expected to move 1,400 staff from eight other buildings across Greater London to the Battersea site – has been heralded by some as a game-changer for the power station scheme.
Although the company’s European headquarters will remain in Ireland, the firm has already declared that the Battersea power station will be its “London campus”
In a statement to London’s Standard free newspaper, Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Rob Tincknell described the news as “testament to not only the fantastic building but the wider regeneration of the 42-acre site, which offers a carefully curated mix of homes, businesses and leisure amid extraordinary open spaces and new transport links.”
The news – officially welcomed by London mayor Sadiq Khan and Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond – has also been greeted warmly be estate agents involved in marketing homes on the site and in the Battersea and Nine Elms areas.
“Wow … Game changer for the development” was the reaction of Ed Mead, now a shareholder of Douglas & Gordon estate agency and a non-executive board member at the firm which has offices in the area of the scheme. A spokeswoman for JLL, which markets substantial numbers of new homes across London, described the Apple decision as “exciting news for London’s biggest regeneration and opportunity area – Nine Elms.”
Jamie Davidson of the Chelsea branch of John D Wood used Twitter to describe the announcement as “great news … also good for London property in the area.”
CBRE and Knight Frank were the consultancies advising on the Apple decision.