Archive for June 27th, 2010

Vultures gather over NAMA assets

As the nightwatchman told me yesterday at one of the jewels in the NAMA crown, Battersea Power Station and Pumping House are not owned by NAMA – NAMA merely owns the loan – the site is still owned by NAMA Top 10 developer, Treasury Holdings, with Richard Barrett and the colourful Johnny Ronan at the helm. The enormous site at Battersea on the banks of the Thames in London is supposedly mothballed awaiting the decision in respect of a planning application submitted last October 2009 and which is expected in August 2010. Yesterday the site was a hotbed of activity – on the ground ambulances and police cars were preparing for a charity event being held today whilst overhead, a helicopter was studiously hovering before buzzing across the road to look over the Embassy Quarter, a large site being developed by fellow NAMA Top 10 developer, Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore. The helicopter eventually broke away and headed towards London City Airport. Who were the passengers? Treasury surveying their empire? NAMA making sure the security for their loans was still protected? Or more likely investors looking over an iconic London piece of real estate, that along with the Embassy Quarter might be coming on the market in the next few months? You can see some bang uptodate pictures of the site here, together with a few pics of a site just across the river, Chelsea Barracks, where the Candy Brothers are having a battle with Charles Windsor, otherwise the Prince of Wales, who objects to their plans to build GBP 4000 psf luxury apartments. Whilst the Chelsea Barracks development does have many questions hanging over it, it does bring to the fore the fact that there is huge wealth in this city and those NAMA sites (or as the nightwatchman correctly said, those sites subject to NAMA loans) are indeed valuable.

What is it?

The site of a former coal-fired electricity generation station that was taken out of service in 1983 (you can to this day see cranes for offloading coal from boats on the Thames). The site extents to over 38 acres, the building has expensive listed status. See its history here.

What is the history of property dealings?

In 1983 the Power Station was taken out of service.

In 1987 the site was sold to John Broome for GBP 1.5m, with the intention that it be developed as a theme park. The project was abandoned in 1989 due to lack of funding.

In 1990 planning permission was granted for offices, shops and hotel

In 1993 the site is sold to Hong-Kong based Parkview International for GBP 10m plus Parkview assuming GBP 70m of debt.

In 2001 Parkview gets permission to develop the site for retail, housing and leisure with a proposed development cost of GBP 1.1bn

In November 2006, Treasury acquire the site for GBP 400m

In October 2009, Treasury submit their application which would see a GBP 4.5bn development of housing for 7,000 together with shops and offices.

Site valued by REO in February 2010 at GBP 365m “The Board has resolved to pursue a proposal to separate the BPSproject from the remainder of the REO portfolio into a new separately listed vehicle, subject to negotiations with relevant stakeholders”

What about the planning application?

Here is the full application at Wandsworth Borough Council. London mayor, Boris Johnson supports it as does English Heritage. A decision is expected in August 2010.


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