Three bidders left in race for Olympic site

Marion Dakers
THE OLYMPIC Delivery Authority (ODA) has narrowed its search for the future owner of the Olympic Village to three candidates, it announced yesterday, as the Games organisers prepare to launch a massive advertising campaign to drum up ticket applications.

Hong Kong conglomerate Hutchison Whampoa has been shortlisted, alongside medical charity Wellcome Trust and a consortium made up of real estate investment adviser Delancey and the property arm of the Qatar Investment Authority.

The ODA currently owns around half of the 2,818 homes in the Olympic Village site in Stratford, along with six development plots nearby with space for a further 2,000 properties.

Triathlon Homes, a joint venture between London housing firms First Base, Southern Housing and East Thames, has already bought the other half of the properties at the village and plans to turn them into affordable housing after the Olympics.

The homes across the village sites will range from studio apartments to five bedroom houses once converted from athletes’ accommodation, helping to ease the severe shortage of affordable housing in east London.

ODA chief executive Dennis Hone said: “The quality of the three shortlisted parties is a vote of confidence in the Olympic Village, demonstrating both UK and international interest in first-class British property.”

The ODA has spent nearly £1.1bn building the Olympic Village site, out of a total £9.3bn investment in the 2012 Games.

One of the candidates, Wellcome Trust, is also considering an offer for the bulk of the entire Olympics site, including the stadium, aquatics centre and athletics village.

The Qatari investment group already owns several high profile properties in London, including Harrods and a stake in the owners of Canary Wharf.

A final decision on the management contract will be made in the summer.

The London Organising Committee has said that demand for tickets for the event was strong ahead of the 26 April deadline for pre-registration. But it is understood that the group is lining up an advertising campaign, after the group’s chief executive Paul Deighton told the International Olympics Committee around £100m-worth of tickets will not be sold in the pre-registration process.




THE Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) hired Savills last October to work on the sale of the Village site, but the firm has been involved in planning the legacy of the sites for much longer, as part of a property panel advising the ODA on all aspects of the Olympic site.

Jones Lang LaSalle, CBRE, Deloitte, DTZ and Gerald Eve with Ikon Consulting are also on the panel.

Leading the Savills Olympics team is Ed de Jonge, a director at the firm with expertise in east London.

Financial services firm Ernst & Young is also consulting on the Village sale, but is remaining tight-lipped about the team involved. The firm has plenty of experience with Olympics sites, although London will be hoping that most of it won’t be needed – the firm was appointed administrator for the Vancouver Olympic Village last November, barely a year after the Canadian city hosted the 2010 Winter Games.

Marion Dakers & Robert Leedham