Mayor of London Boris Johnson has revealed details of a £1bn deal struck with Chinese developers to build London’s third business district, after the City and Canary Wharf. The Royal Docks are the historic trading heartland of the capital and the Chinese development is set to make it a commercial and trading centre for the 21st century, he said.
The plan is for the site to be a gateway for Asian and Chinese business seeking to establish headquarters in Europe as well as for other businesses wanting to set up in the capital. Top Chinese banks are already being lined up.
The deal represents one of the first direct investment by a Chinese developer in London’s property market and will eventually be home to more than 3.2 million square feet of work, retail and leisure space, including 2.5 million square feet of office space.
Owned by the Greater London Authority and situated in the heart of Royal Docks Enterprise Zone, the 35-acre site at Royal Albert Dock is set to be transformed by developer ABP China (Holding).
ABP has recently completed a 15 million square feet development in Beijing, while its Shenyang project in northeastern China is even larger, with plans for 75 million square feet when complete.
Working with UK developer Stanhope and architect Farrells, ABP is committed to developing a minimum of 600,000 square feet in the first phase. The first occupiers are due to move in in 2017.
ABP chairman Mr Xu said: “I am very pleased and very proud that my company ABP has reached this agreement for the Royal Albert Dock with the Greater London Authority. This project will be hugely significant for both the Chinese and UK economies. My vision is to develop a world class international business district which will initially target Asian businesses to help them secure a destination in London, which in China is seen as the gateway to both the United Kingdom and the wider European economy. Our plans aim to strengthen trade between east and west, provide new local jobs and deliver benefits for the wider London and UK economy.”