Battersea: £4 billion overhaul
The defunct power plant that gave us one of the most famous album covers of all time (Pink Floyd, “Animals”) is back. Battersea Power Station is going to get an overhaul to the tune of £4 million.
With the price of fossil fuels so high, the need for more eco-friendly fuel alternatives is high. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until 2020 for this one.
The new owners of Battersea Power Station today unveiled plans to build a 300 metre “eco-dome” next to the London landmark as part of a planned conversion of the entire site that will cost £4 billion and take 12 years to build.
Real Estate Opportunities (REO), the AIM-quoted owner of Battersea Power Station, is proposing that the complex will include new homes, hotel and offices.
Sounds good to me. Anyone who has taken the tube past the empty power station knows that it was once a huge eyesore. It will be a joy to see the new Battersea.
Battersea Power Station is another tale that winds up us Land Value Taxers no end. The site was bought fifteen years ago for £10 million (at the bottom of the last UK property slump) and sold on two years ago for £400 million. That’s £390 million profit for doing sweet FA (minus costs).
It’s a 38-acre site, for Heaven’s sake, that means each square yard of land is worth over £2,000. And it’s far from the nicest or most expensive bit of London, where land was worth £20,000 per square yard last year (before the current crash started).
Had the site been subject to Land Value Tax, then the owner would have been forced to get the site developed a long time ago – to cover the cost of the tax – so there would be more houses, more offices etc, everybody wins!
Oh, by the way, the title of this post should say “billion”, not “million”.
I have now changed ‘million’ to ‘billion.’ A world of difference.
As for the sweetheart deal, you’re right about development. Just think how it would have looked south of the Thames in the late 1990s and this decade had the developer actually done something with this eyesore.
The power station itself is something to behold. I used to visit friends in Clapham from West Brompton via British rail. The power station loomed over us on our way across the Thames.
That was the late ’90s when Battersea needed the development. In a housing bust I think development is a lot less likely now.
Development is indeed less likely in a housing bust. But without the housing boom, there wouldn’t have been a housing bust. And with Land Value Tax, there wouldn’t have been a housing boom. Continued page 94.
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