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Want to own a piece of the BBC? Or at least the site with which the venerable broadcaster is indelibly linked?
Some UAE-based investors have already bought into the residential project in White City (West London) that replaces the BBC Television Centre, BBC's base between 1960-2013.
''There were seven sales at Television Centre [the old name is being retained save for the BBC part] from buyers in the Gulf before the Brexit vote — five of these came from Dubai and one from both Jordan and Saudi Arabia,'' said Peter Allen, sales and marketing director at Stanhope, which is creating 950 upscale homes as well as office space for up to 5,000 workers. ''Since the Brexit vote, we've sold one unit to a buyer from Saudi Arabia.''
''In real terms for dollar buyers, our scheme is 10 per cent better value today than it was before the Brexit vote — so there is a clear opportunity for GCC investors to capitalise on this fact.''
Residential sales were launched to UK based buyers in April. At Cityscape Global, some of the units will be showcased, with prices ranging from £700,000 (Dh3.42 million) for a one-bed to £7.5 million for a penthouse. The first phase of 432 units is due for completion in early 2018.
The Television Centre redevelopment will allow future residents to live above three active BBC television studios and opposite Westfield London — the largest shopping mall in Europe. The scheme is at the heart of an £8 billion 10-year regeneration of the wider White City area bordering Notting Hill and Holland Park, which includes workspaces for 20,000 more employees and a new campus for Imperial College University.
And the BBC association with the Television Centre — its base from 1960 to 2013 — is still there.
''The legacy continues with BBC Studioworks returning to operate from three original studios in 2017, when live programmes will again be broadcast from Television Centre,'' said Allen. ''BBC Worldwide is already headquartered on site, having moved back to Television Centre in 2015, and the famous 'question mark' shape of the building is still evident in the footprint of the redeveloped scheme.''
Other elements associated with the broadcaster's storied past will be retained in the made over development.
''The Helios statue — the 'deity of the sun' — in the centre of the development is being refurbished and will return,'' said Allen. ''The famous atomic dots wall on the exterior of Studio 1 will be retained, along with the Grade II-listed frontage of the central 'doughnut' and artist John Piper's celebrated mural in the main residential reception, that was previously referred to as the 'stage door'.
The heritage factor will be a top draw for potential investors. ''Not only do you benefit from the prestige of living at an already recognised address, you can also enjoy the architectural merits of fusing old and new to create a truly memorable development,'' said Allen.
''So many people in the UK grew up with the Television Centre appearing in their living rooms as it was the backdrop for many shows that were filmed there. There are not many new residential buildings that see people stopping to take selfies — and now you can live there.''
Source: Manoj Nair, Associate Editor, gulfnews.com