$2B Deal to Transform Old London Docks into Innovation Hub

London is getting ready to redevelop London's Royal Docks, a $2 billion project dubbed Silvertown Quays, which will be the second phase in the redevelopment of the Silvertown area.

London Mayor Boris Johnson has announced the newest initiative in the grand redevelopment of London’s Royal Docks: the £1.5 billion (circa $2 billion) project dubbed Silvertown Quays, represents the second phase of the redevelopment of the Silvertown area. Upon completion, the planned innovation quarter and brand pavilion village will bring an extra £6.5 billion into the British economy over a period of 25 years.

The industrialized district is located in the London Borough of Newham, on the northern bank of the river Thames and just south of the Royal Victoria Dock. It is part of the Royal Docks of London Enterprise Zone, which has a £22 billion development potential.

The 50-acre brownfield site, currently owned by the Greater London Authority (GLA), will be redeveloped into the world’s first purpose-built brand destination, containing brand pavilions occupied by leading names. The project, described by Sir Robin Wales Mayor of Newham as “an unrivalled investment opportunity on a scale unmatched anywhere else in Europe,” will put an emphasis on digital and technological innovation, comprising space for incubator and technology businesses as well as green enterprises. The riverfront redevelopment project aims to become a world-class destination of living, working and entertainment. As such the focal point of the Silvertown Quays will be the state-of-the-art brand pavilion grand avenue and revamped dock. Further commercial space will include restaurant and café space, galleries and leisure facilities, both on land and on the water, as well as 1500 new homes. Overall built floor space in Silvertown Quays will not exceed 5,354,345 square feet, comprised of a maximum of 4,706,196 square feet of residential, 86,111 square feet of hotel, 83,958 square feet of designated office, 81,805 square feet of flexible commercial, 59,955 square feet of dining and bar space, 46,500 square feet of retail space,as well as 86,111 square feet of community space including a school, a 145,312-square-foot aquarium and 60,547 square feet of diverse leisure space. 9,000 new jobs will be created in the area.

The Silvertown Partnership (TSP) was designated as the master developer for the project in 2012 and has recently signed a Master Development Agreement with the GLA. The Silvertown Partnership, composed of Chelsfield Properties and First Base Ltd., is known for other high-profile London projects, such as Broadgate and Chiswick Park and currently involved in the Waterloo project. The partnership will submit an outline planning application to the London Borough of Newham in the next 12 months. TSP has contracted global company Arup for master planning services. Jones Lang LaSalle and Cushman and Wakefield were brought in as leasing and commercial property manager, while also advising TSP during negotiations with the GLA, represented by Knight Frank.

The project is expected to break ground in late 2014 or early 2015 with the first phase receiving tenants in 2017. When fully developed the master development will have one of the most advantageous public transportation with the 2018 completion of the Crossrail station, which will offer 10-minute rides to central and 17-minute rides to western London.

In late May 2013, the mayor’s office announced another high-profile, high-investment redevelopment project for the Royal Docks of London. The £1 billion Royal Albert Dock redevelopment project spearheaded by China-based experienced developer ABP China (Holding) will overhaul the 35-acre site into a state-of-the-art business center targeting Chinese and Asian businesses looking to set up gateway locations for future forays into the European market. The project will create 2.5 million square feet of office space and 700,000 square feet of various other commercial spaces, such as retail and entertainment. The enterprise is expected to create 20,000 new jobs.