Prime New Covent Garden plot back market

Developer St Modwen has announced that the prospective buyer of part of its Nine Elms redevelopment in south-west London has walked away from the deal.

It said a period of exclusivity offered to the would-be purchaser of the 4ha site, part of its redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market, had now expired without a deal being reached.

St Modwen added: “The prime riverside site in central London has received high levels of interest and the sale process with other prospective purchasers continues.”

The official announcement to the London Stock Exchange had been labelled as reaction to media speculation on the status of the deal.

According to reports, the prospective buyer of the site was a Chinese investor new to the UK property market.

Some speculation centred around the impact of the Chinese government placing increased regulatory constraint on overseas investment.

In its full-year results last month, St Modwen referred to the “exclusive negotiations” which it said were “firmly supportive of book value” of the Nine Elms Square segment, however the firm accepted there was “no guarantee of any transaction completing”.

It began marketing the 4 hectare plot with joint venture partner Vinci in late summer last year.

St Modwen’s redevelopment of New Covent Garden Market has been a work in progress since 2010.

It will provide new market facilities as well as releasing just over 8ha of land on which 3,000 homes are planned in towers of up to 46 storeys.