Battersea Power Station has been sold for 40 times what its last owner paid for it, even though it lies derelict and undeveloped.
Victor Hwang’s Oriental Property company sold the iconic London site for £400m to Johnny Ronan and Richard Barrett, two Irish developers.
The price represents a hefty profit for the Taiwanese Hwang family, which bought it for £10m 13 years ago but has been frustrated in its development efforts in spite of millions spent on advisers and consultants.
The purchase has been made through Real Estate Opportunities, a 58.5 per cent owned listed subsidiary of Treasury, the private company owned by the two Irish developers.
Treasury becomes the latest company to take on the task of developing the site, which has lain derelict since the power station was decommissioned in 1982. It has been the subject of all sorts of grandiose plans from the site for the world’s biggest cinema to an amusement park.
The current planning proposal from Oriental envisages the world’s most intimate restaurant, big enough for two diners in the top of one of the four chimneys.
Treasury is understood to have already appointed architects. Rob Davies of Treasury said the company would probably stick with the outline planning approvals inherited from Oriental. This envisages a mixed development of residential, office and conference facilities.
However, it is understood the company may re-apply for a scheme allowing greater density of housing.
Treasury is one of Ireland’s leading property companies, with a portfolio of €2.1bn (£1.4bn) including the Spencer Dock development in Dublin.
Battersea is one of the largest brick buildings in the world, and the site, together with its surrounding land, represents one of the largest urban regeneration projects in central London.