The Malaysian-owned Battersea Power Station Development Company will begin its global “roadshow” in an attempt to find up to 250 retailers to occupy its 42-acre site. From November, the developers will visit 13 cities in 11 different countries, holding exhibitions to prospective tenants.
The news comes as work to demolish and rebuild the characteristic chimneys at the Power station begins this week, the start of a project that will eventually cost its developers £8 billion. Due to the damage caused by corrosion from the sulphur in the coal smoke that once bellowed out of the chimneys, as well as years of exposure to the unpredictable London weather, it was decided that building replica chimneys was the only viable long-term option.
After extensive research over a period of several years, Wandsworth Council have struck a deal with the developers whereby the chimneys will be demolished and rebuilt one at a time to preserve the Power station’s iconic status. Phil Gullett, Chief Operating Officer of Battersea Power Station Development Company, said: “The four iconic chimneys are not only one of the most distinctive features of the London skyline, they are the very DNA of this historical building”.
The outlets on offer to global retailers include 40 sites due to open in 2016 in the area known as ‘Circus West’, close to the first phase of homes to be built. Of the 250 proposed outlets, 115 of these will be located in the heart of the vast red brick power station, located on the ground and first floors of the boiler house and turbine halls. The rest will be situated in new surrounding developments, including a 50 store high street (due to be opened in 2020) flanked by new buildings designed by Foster & Foster.
In addition to these outlets, there are also plans for a ‘street food market in the sky’ on the third floor of the building. Up to 60 food vans and stalls will be lifted into their designated plots, tempted away from traditional food centres such as Borough, King’s Cross and Shoreditch. Battersea Power Station Development Company chief executive Rob Tincknell said: “It will be the most amazing food court in London”.
The tour will visit several major cities in the US (New York and Los Angeles) and the Far East (Beijing and Kuala Lumpar), hoping to tempt abroad large department stores that have so far failed to expand internationally. Tincknell believes the Power station has a “very powerful existing brand profile. Together with other leading global retail and business brands, we believe this combination will create a truly world-class destination”.