Friday, June 5, 2015

Faded White

The BBC's White City adventure is on the wane. A deal has been struck with developers Stanhope and Mtisui Fudosan (spookily, the same pairing that bought Television Centre) for the long-term lease of six buildings on the site, and the purchase of four acres on the south side - currently laid to grass and a temporary car park.

The BBC will release three buildings for refurbishment - the unloved (and empty since 2013) White City 1, a Balfour Beatty design-and-build project; and the Media Centre and the Garden House (both Allies & Morrison). The BBC will stays as tenants of The Broadcast Centre, the Energy Centre (once home to The One Show) and the Lighthouse.

Stanhope will employ Allies & Morrison for a new masterplan, attempt to rebrand the site 'White City Place, and seek planning permission for new landscaping and a development at the south end - once planned by the BBC as first a Radio Centre, and then a Concert Hall.

Is it a good deal ?  The BBC retains some joint interest in freehold of 13 acres, through something called the Insight Property Partnership. It raises £87 million from the sale of 4 acres and the leases of the six buildings.  There's no mention of the price of staying as tenants in its own buildings, but the BBC says it will avoid spending £33m a year. Vacant space in the BBC's property portfolio should go down from 9.3% to 2.6%.  Two questions - how will they stop those marooned at White City from boarding an over-laden Broadcasting House ? And how much property will Auntie need post-Charter renewal ?

1 comment:

  1. BBC Media Village "re-imagined" - -


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