Developer brothers say they still want to develop 73-acre site, despite being served notice to leave the project after months of rows with partner Westfield.
Developers the Reuben brothers have said they still want to develop Stratford City, despite being served notice to leave the project after months of rows with partner Westfield.
In an open letter delivered yesterday to landowner London & Continental Railways, the Reubens said they still hoped to hold the "shoot-out" auction in which either they or shopping centre developer Westfield would take control of the project.
The two parties are partners in Stratford City Developments (SCDL), a joint-venture company which until 10 days ago had an agreement to develop the 73-acre site.
The Reubens also branded London mayor Ken Livingstone's comments on their involvement in the scheme "unhelpful". Livingstone caused outrage when he suggested that the two should "go back to Iran and try their luck with the ayatollahs" if they did not like the UK development regime. The Reubens were born in India to Iraqi-Jewish parents.
The full text of the letter, which was also delivered to SCDL's other partner Stanhope, the Olympic Delivery Authority and the ODPM, is below.
Stratford City Development
There has been much speculation about the joint-venture development company that has the commission to develop Stratford City, with particular regard to the 2012 Olympics. Much of that speculation has been unhelpful and in particular the comments of London mayor, Ken Livingstone, have resulted in uncertainty, confusion and most worryingly, fear that the Stratford City development will not be completed in time for the London Olympics.
We are writing this letter to make our position clear. As the recipients of this letter know, LCR have announced that they intend to terminate the arrangements with our joint venture development company. We do not want that to happen nor do we think it is necessary. Many would say that the current partners in the development company are having great difficulty in getting on with the job and agreeing the basis of how we should proceed.
We are committed to the development. We want to see it happen, we want it to be a commercial success and we want it to be a landmark development that enhances both London and the 2012 Olympics event. It is the case that the partnership has had a lot of problems. We don't think it is helpful to try and apportion blame. We think it is more important to find a solution. Whenever problems have occurred we have always offered to fund the forward progress and I cannot think of a more clear indication of our commitment to the project.
NM Rothschild have been called in to mediate and find a solution. Their proposal is that there should be a shoot-out auction which would result in one of the two current partners, Westfield and ourselves, owning the whole project. We stand ready and are willing to participate in that auction and we require no preconditions. Incidentally, it would be our desire to win that auction and go forward with a very successful development.
That is our position and we await optimistically the auction and its outcome.