THE TRIUMPHANT transformation of Canary Wharf is an object lesson in the power of visionary funders, able to see the long-term potential in neglected sites. But it also shows the benefits of the right regulatory environment, founded as it was on an enterprise zone.
Thanks to the recent Royal Docks enterprise zone, established in 2012, London’s eastern redevelopment is continuing to aim for new heights. Plans are now underway for the capital’s third financial district in the 35 acres of the Royal Albert Docks. Asian Business Port will be a mini city, designed to provide the tiger economies of Asia with a London home, operating around the clock to suit distant timezones.
Chinese firm ABP is behind the £1bn investment. It will be delivered by ABP London, with UK developer Stanhope as development manager and Sir Terry Farrell drawing up the masterplan.
It is suggested that the creation of some 3.2m sq ft of new commercial space by 2023 would be worth over £6bn to London’s economy and create 20,000 new jobs.
Providing some of the world’s fastest-growing economies a European base is a smart plan. Let’s hope the wider lesson isn’t missed about the regulatory conditions that help such grand projects thrive.