Boris to unveil £1bn Chinese docks scheme

Kasmira Jefford
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LONDON Mayor Boris Johnson is tomorrow set to unveil a £1bn deal with a Chinese property developer to create a new business park at east London’s 35-acre Royal Docks site.

The Greater London Authority is understood to have nearly finalised a contract with Beijing’s Advanced Business Park (ABP) to develop a 2m square feet business park on the north side of the Royal Albert Dock.

The deal would mark ABP’s maiden investment outside of China and it is thought that the developer would use the site – which is close to City airport– as a base for Chinese firms wanting to expand in the UK and Europe.

The Royal Docks enterprise zone runs from Stratford down the River Lea to the Thames, and is already home to the ExCeL exhibition centre, which was acquired by the Abu Dhabi government for £320m in 2008.

The Greater London Authority, which owns the land, has been advised by Deloitte Real Estate Consulting on finding a developer to turn it into “London’s next business district”.

Other parties originally shortlisted included Muse and Wrenbridge, Micro World Developments, St Modwen and Sinowest Construction Group (Mace).

Work on the project could start in the next 18 months, leading to thousands of new jobs being created.

ABP, which is chaired by Xu Weiping, a former Chinese government official, was established in 2003. Its other developments include a 7m sq ft business park in Beijing.