Brunei family’s secret £500m swoop on Queensway
16 September 2013 3:45am
A PRIVATE Brunei family has spent £500m secretly buying most of Queensway, with the aim of regenerating the area into an urban village.
The off-market deals are being arranged by Siahaf, a property development firm run by British businessman Johnny Sandelson and Bruneian entrepreneur Mohamad Shuif Hussain.
A spokesperson for Sandelson would not confirm the name of the Brunei family to City A.M. He added that the consortium is planning to buy a few more properties in Queensway but most of the extra costs would now come from renovating their existing purchases.
Siahaf has secured minority backing for the project from the property fund Meyer Bergman. A spokesperson from the firm refused to go into details of the deal but told City A.M. that “Meyer Bergman is one of many landowners in a larger project”.
The consortium has been buying properties on Queensway since the start of the year, including the Queensway Estate, which houses an ice skating rink and a market. It bought Whiteleys shopping centre from Standard Life Investments last week.
Queensway is near to highly affluent areas such as Notting Hill and Kensington, but it is far scruffier and yet to be regenerated. The consortium has a six-year plan to transform the area with pedestrianised areas and independent shops.
Dixon Jones Architects, which redesigned the Royal Opera House, has been hired to undertake the regeneration plan.
After speculation that the investor was the Sultan of Brunei, his PR advisers at Bell Pottinger released the following statement yesterday: “Contrary to the lead story on one of today's business sections, we have been asked to make it clear that His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei is NOT an investor in the plan to purchase property in Queensway, West London.”
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