Battersea Power Station – Abramovich plays Battersea blinder
Property Week

Battersea Power Station – Abramovich plays Battersea blinder

Property Week reveals Chelsea and Almacantar’s eye-catching plans for Battersea Power Station, which have been benched – for now.

The spectacular first images of Chelsea’s proposed new stadium at Battersea Power Station are revealed here today.

The west stand of the 60,000-seat rectangular stadium, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox, would sit inside the power station itself, while the other three stands and the pitch would be outside it, Property Week can reveal.

Most observers had assumed the entire stadium would sit inside the power station.

Underneath the west stand would be a huge area that could accommodate cafes, bars and restaurants on Chelsea match days and shopping and gallery space for the public at other times. A 15,000 one-tier stand behind the south goal, reminiscent of Liverpool’s famous Kop, would be the biggest one-tier stand in world football.

The four famous chimneys and wash towers along with the grade II*-listed west turbine hall and control room would be restored and retained in their original locations. The eastern turbine hall, which has little architectural merit, would be demolished.

The new stadium would be accompanied by around 3m sq ft of mixed-use development on the 39 acre site, which would be carried out by a joint venture between Chelsea and Mike Hussey’s property company, Almacantar. The space would be roughly a third residential – around 1,200 homes – a third offices and a third shops.

Down the eastern side of the site from the river to Battersea Park Road, would be a new “King’s Road” of shops in an homage to the famous King’s Road that runs past Chelsea’s existing Stamford Bridge ground.

Hussey told Property Week that Chelsea and Almacantar had come up with a way to fund the entire estimated £560m cost of the Northern Line extension, which would run from Kennington to Battersea.

Chelsea and Almacantar are out of the running to buy the Battersea Power Station site. On 7 June a joint venture between two Malaysian companies, SP Setia and Sime Darby, signed a 28-day exclusivity agreement to buy the site for £400m.

Their bid was nearly £100m more than Almacantar and Chelsea, which was the underbidder.

The Malaysians intend to work within the existing 8.3m sq ft outline planning consent obtained by the site’s former owner, Real Estate Opportunities, in December 2010. This consent comprises 3,700 homes, 1.6m sq ft of offices and, within the brick structure, 500,000 sq ft of retail and restaurants.

Although UK development experts believe it would take 25 years or more to sell that many flats and the end value of the project would be around £5.5bn, the Malaysians are far more optimistic.

In an interview with the Star, a Malaysian newspaper, Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, president and CEO of SP Setia, said it would take 10 to 15 years to develop the site and that he expected the gross development value to be around £8bn.

Hussey told Property Week that 60% of the Chelsea and Almacantar scheme was in the first phase and could be completed by the end of 2017.

That would mean Chelsea could be in their new home in time for the 2018 season. The club would sell its current 16 acre Stamford Bridge ground, which experts predict could fetch £250m to £300m for residential development.