The Wellcome Trust’s bid with PLP Architecture for full Olympic Park ownership has been potentially derailed by the start of exclusive talks with rival companies vying to buy the 2012 Athletes Village
Earlier this month, the health science charity Wellcome Trust appointed PLP Architecture as part of a team to work on an audacious bid for the freehold ownership of the entire Olympic Park in east London. That bid was conditional on Wellcome also being handed the Athletes Village.
However the future of the £1 billion offer now looks uncertain as it emerged that ministers have entered exclusive negotiations with Delancey and Qatari Diar over the sale of the 2,800-home Athletes Village.
The decision leaves shortlisted alternative bidders Wellcome Trust and Hutchison Whampoa out in the cold and threatens to scupper the prestigious health science charity’s ‘all-or-nothing’ Olympic Park offer. The trust said it would buy the wider site on the condition the village is included.
A key bargaining chip on the table was Wellcome Trust’s and PLP’s offer to transform the International Broadcast Centre into a Life Sciences Innovation Centre (pictured). The plans by PLP with AKT II, BDSP, Davis Langdon and Gillespies would convert the centre into two universities and create 7,000 jobs, it was claimed.
While Delancey and Qatari Diar are yet to be appointed preferred bidder, it is understood the Olympic Development Agency has ceased dialogue with Wellcome Trust and Hutchison Whampoa and would only resume discussions with them if the main deal-making breaks down.
If successful, Delancey and Qatari Diar stand to take ownership of the entire 2,800-home Athletes Village plus adjacent development plots and parkland.
Wellcome Trust was the only organisation known to have tabled an offer for the entire area, which the government calls an ‘east London tech city’.
PLP’s and Wellcome Trust’s Olympic Park bid hangs in balance