Chelsea Barracks, What’s Going On?
Qatari Diar, the investment arm of the wealthy Arab Emirate has made the bold move to suspend the development of now notorious project due to concerns of the British economy. The site has planning permission for 450 luxury homes with 123 affordable homes in the affluent area of Chelsea only a short walk to Sloane Square.
The issue now is that there is uncertainty as to whether the necessary £3bn investment would reap the returns to make such a large scale project viable and that the only sensible option would be to look to sell the site for another developer to take over the mantle and the risk.
It is clear Britain is still languishing in the current recession with little light at the end of the tunnel in terms of an economic turn around, in fact a triple dip recession (depression) is more than likely. Qatari Diar already own a large stake in the Shard, Harrods, The US Embassy, and is joint owner of the Olympic Village and the Shell Centre.
No office lettings have yet been announced in the Shard, and concerns about the future demand for luxury homes in London mean the risk of pouring a further £2bn into construction in a stagnant economy has caused concern. Britain’s economic data has compounded fears that the emirate overpaid when it gave the Ministry of Defence £959m for the site in 2007.