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Sun 28 Aug 2016 02:28 PM

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MidEast buyers said to invest $11m in BBC’s former London home

Investors from region account for 4% of sales at Stanhope’s Television Centre

MidEast buyers said to invest $11m in BBC’s former London home

Investors from the Middle East have purchased £9 million ($11 million) of flats at the redevelopment of the BBC’s former headquarters in west London and interest has risen since Brexit, developer Stanhope has claimed.

Investors from Dubai, Jordan and Saudi Arabia account for 4 percent of sales to date by value and volume at Television Centre, the redevelopment of the state broadcaster’s White City studios into a mixed-use scheme comprising 950 new homes and apartments.

The scheme is also planned to include cafes and restaurants, an independent cinema, 400,000 sq ft of premium office space and new outpost of private members’ club Soho House, complete with 47-room hotel.

The first phase of the project – costing around £795 million ($1.04 million) – contains 432 homes due for completion in 2018, with prices ranging from £700,000 ($919,520) for a one bedroom apartment to £7 million ($9.1 million) for a penthouse.

Residential sales were launched in April and Stanhope’s sales and marketing director Peter Allen told Arabian Business that, while there were more sales to GCC investors before the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU), the number of enquiries from prospective buyers from the Gulf had risen since.

Allen said: “There were seven sales at Television Centre from buyers in the GCC before the Brexit vote, which came via the London offices of our joint agents, Savills and Strutt & Parker.

“Five of these sales came from Dubai and one from both Jordan and Saudi Arabia.”

“Since the Brexit vote, we’ve sold one unit to a buyer from Saudi Arabia and have definitely seen a recent spike in enquiries from GCC buyers.

“In real terms for dollar buyers, our scheme is 10 percent better value today than it was before the Brexit vote so there is a clear opportunity for Gulf investors to capitalise on this.”

Stanhope is planning to showcase Television Centre at the Cityscape conference in Dubai next week. Regional sales are being led by Dubai-based Elysian Global.

Allen added: “There was a period of uncertainty immediately after the Brexit vote but that is now passing and we are returning to ‘business as usual’.

“The fundamentals of London remain – it is a truly global city that is the number one financial centre in the world, a transport hub, with the only global language and great education, entertainment and culture, a fair legal system, liquid property market with easy access, entry and exit and low inflation.

“Increased demand [from the region] and the sales completed to date have given us the confidence that Television Centre resonates with buyers in the region.”

Apartments at Television Centre were designed by Stirling Prize-winning AHMM Architects with interiors by London designer Suzy Hoodless.

BBC Worldwide, which relocated to a new headquarters in April 2015, retains some space at the scheme with three television studios, including the famous Studio 1, set to reopen in early 2017.

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