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Sat 6 Aug 2011 09:49 AM

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Qatari Diar edges closer in Olympic Village move

Rival bid to takeover London site after Olympic Games is rejected by gov't ministers - reports

Qatari Diar edges closer in Olympic Village move
Aerial view of Londons Olympic Village

Qatari Diar, the property arm of the Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund, is a step closer to taking over the Olympic Village in London after next year's Games.

A rival bid put forward by put forward by the Wellcome Trust will no longer be progressed, according to media in the UK.

It was reported that government ministers decided the bid did not give taxpayers sufficient value for money.

Now Qatari Diar, which submitted a joint bid with British property developer Delancey, is expected to be formally appointed as the preferred bidder by the Olympic Development Agency.

The Wellcome Trust, Britain’s biggest charity, planned to convert the Olympic Media Centre into a global hub for research and innovation called the Life Sciences Innovation Centre.

The Trust’s bid was conditional on also being handed the Athletes Village, as part of its vision for the site that promised to create up to 7,000 jobs.

Qatari Diar submitted a bid to buy up around half of the 2,800 homes at the village, together with an adjacent plot of land with the potential for further 2,000 – 2,500 new homes.

About 1,300 of the new homes have been bought by Triathlon Homes for £270m ($419m) and are designated to become affordable housing.

The ODA owns the remaining 1,439 homes which will become private housing, plus six future development plots in the Village site that could house a further 2,000 houses. It expects to earn around £500m ($775m) from the deal.

Construction work on the Olympic Village began in June 2008. The first of 11 residential plots were completed in late March and the Village is scheduled for completion in early 2012.

If its bid is successful, the Village would become the latest asset in Qatar's London property portfolio. The gas-rich Gulf state already own assets such as London Bridge Tower, Chelsea Barracks and the US embassy building in Grosvenor Square.

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