Agency seeks post-2012 developer for Olympic Park as Reubens fight dismissal from adjacent Stratford City
The London Development Agency has revealed plans to appoint a developer for the Olympic legacy as the Stratford City saga took another twist this week.
The LDA hopes to find a developer by the end of the year to start building on the 312 ha Olympic Park as soon as the Games end in 2012.
A scheme to build two schools and more than 9000 homes is planned for land on the western side of the Olympic Park next to the troubled Stratford City development.
Gareth Blacker, the LDA's development director, said the developer would need to be in place by early next year in order to work up designs, secure planning permissions and appoint contractors ready to start on site as soon as the Games were finished.
He added that the contract would be a commercially attractive, as the land would have been remediated in preparation for the Olympics.
His comments came as the public inquiry over the compulsory purchase order for the site started on Tuesday. Blacker estimated that about 90% of the land needed for the Olympic Park was already in the LDA's ownership. He said the inquiry would face between 30 and 40 "meaningful" objections by the end of this week.
The LDA has already spent about £750m on land assembly for the project. Blacker said the budget was likely to be about £1.1bn.
It would be our desire to win that auction and go forward
He declined to say which developers would be approached or were likely to bid for the legacy role.
Separately, developers the Reuben brothers have made their first response after their effective dismissal from the Stratford City scheme. They said that they were still committed to the £4bn scheme and were still keen to take the project forward.
The brothers and Westfield, their partner in Stratford City Developments (SCDL), had been due to hold an auction to buy each other's stake in the company and therefore take control of the scheme. Stanhope also owns a stake. But landowner London & Continental Railways decided to terminate its development agreement with SCDL two weeks ago after losing faith that the auction would happen.
In an open letter to LCR, the Reubens said: "We stand ready and are willing to participate in that auction … it would be our desire to win that auction and go forward with a very successful development."
LCR, however, has already appointed agent Jones Lang LaSalle to find another development partner.