Friday, April 15, 2016

Life cycling

How long should buildings last ?  The BBC's Media Centre, at White City, opened for business in 2004.  In 2008 the ground and second floors were substantially refurbished to the taste of BBC Worldwide. The BBC moved out in July 2015, with Worldwide heading to yet another building refurbished to their taste, Stage 6 of Television Centre.

Now new owners of 'White City Place',  Stanhope and Mitsui Fudosan have called back original builders Lendlease for a refit.

The block has been stripped back to superstructure and will get new facades and glass, as well as structural alterations before being ready to let out (presumably at a good premium) in 2017. The BBC got £87m out of the sale of freeholds and leases at White City - buildings it originally thought would be in operation for 30 years -  but continues to lease some space on the site.

The developers reckon to be spending £90m on the three major buildings, rebranding the Media Centre as Mediaworks. And they're gambling that the rents they can charge will go up, because of the Television Centre development !  Trebles all round.

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