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Sat 3 Dec 2005 04:00 AM

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Kuwait firm makes short list for Elephant & Castle regeneration

Salhia makes it to the final stage of bidding on Europe’s largest multi-billion dollar regeneration project, in London

Kuwaiti developer Salhia has made it onto the final short list of three for Europe’s largest regeneration project.

The firm is in a joint venture with UK property company

St Mowden, for the US $2.6 billion (£1.5 billion) regeneration of London’s Elephant and Castle.

The other finalists are Lend Lease Europe Limited (in collaboration with First Base and Oakmayne) and Oceancrest (a consortium of Blackfriars Investments, Lefrak Organisation, Chelsfield Partners and Glebe Holdings).

Bidders will be issued stage three documents in January and will have 60 days to respond. Southwark Council will then evaluate submissions and a developer will be selected by summer next year.

The plans include the demolition of 1200 homes around the existing Elephant and Castle shopping centre, and the realignment of the central road system. In its place 5300 new homes will be built, along with 74 322 m2 of retail and leisure space.

Multiplex and Canary Wharf Group had also submitted expressions of interest in the first stage of the process but declined to bid.

Multiplex is believed to be reducing its current workload and has expressed regret over being unable to pursue the project. But it is already committed to a tower scheme at the Elephant and Castle.

Meanwhile, Canary Wharf Group is believed to have concluded that the Elephant is too large a project to initiate its shift into mixed-use development. But the group has stressed that it does not rule out a future involvement, subject to the right opportunity arising.

Early phases of the regeneration project are already under construction, with the first wave of new apartments due to be handed over to investors before Christmas this year.

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