£250 million investment announced for King’s Cross Central

Posted: Thursday 12th March 2009

£150 million from King’s Cross’s investors.

Over £100 million construction contract for University of the Arts London.

4,500 students and staff move to new campus to open at King’s Cross in 2011.

King’s Cross (KXC) and University of the Arts London have confirmed a total commitment of over a quarter of a billion pounds of investment to 2011 in the 67 acre central London development.

The owners of the joint venture vehicle behind KXC – the Argent King’s Cross Limited Partnership (AKXLP – backed by Argent Group and Hermes Real Estate, on behalf of the BT Pension Scheme), London & Continental Railways (LCR – the owner and developer of High Speed 1 and St Pancras International) and DHL Supply Chain – have committed £150 million over the next three years to take forward key elements of the masterplan framework infrastructure and deliver the first phases of KXC.

The £150 million from the investors will now deliver:

  • The laying out of Granary Square, which will be one of the largest public squares in London and will front the University’s campus;
  • The construction of an energy centre and a district heating grid incorporating Combined Heat and Power engines which will enable significant carbon savings to be achieved across the site;
  • The first of three bridges across the Regent’s canal in preparation for construction of the Boulevard providing links to St Pancras International and King’s Cross stations;
  • Two key roads to the north of the canal linking York Way to the development;
  • Major improvements to the canal itself;
  • A significant upgrade to the (Grade II listed) Great Northern Hotel (in advance of selecting an occupier); and
  • A shared service yard with Network Rail.

At the same time, University of the Arts London has entered into a construction contract worth over £100 million to provide their new campus on the site which will be home to over 4,500 students and staff from September 2011. Last year detailed permission was granted by Camden Council for 550,000 sq ft of space in the Granary Complex, which includes the new campus.

The investment follows the conclusion of legal arrangements last year for the University’s much anticipated move to the new 420,000 sq ft facility which will house Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design.

This commitment from the investors in KXC and University of the Arts London means significant construction activity will occur over the next three years at a time when most other developments around London and the UK are being put on hold.

Sir David Clementi, chairman of King’s Cross, said today:

“This major investment and our arrangement with University of the Arts London together send out the strongest possible signal to the market, to potential occupiers and future investors that King’s Cross is one of the few privately funded major developments which is making progress in these challenging times.

“This funding unlocks King’s Cross, providing the infrastructure for the University, and tees up further development opportunities such as Sainsbury’s, the first 285 affordable homes and other commercial, residential, retail and cultural projects.”

Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said:

“We are doing all we can to see London through this downturn and I am delighted to see the private sector playing their part in pushing ahead with major developments like King’s Cross. Not only is it vital that we don’t let up in building the capital’s infrastructure and keep

Londoners working, but in future we can look forward to a brand new area of London that people will want to live in, work in and visit.”

Roger Madelin, joint chief executive of Argent (King’s Cross) Ltd, the Asset and Development Manager of King’s Cross, said:

“Last year we said King’s Cross is ready for business. Now it’s in business.

“Off the back of the commitment from our founding investors and the University, we have entered into design and construction contracts for a quarter of a billion pounds for the next three years, including funding of off-site infrastructure and further fees to take forward future phases.

“Alongside the investment in projects currently under way at King’s Cross and St Pancras International, over a billion pounds is being spent now, on bringing forward development at this crucial hub.”

The framework infrastructure being delivered as part of this initial phase at KXC will enable a stage by stage development of further individual plots on the site.

Detailed designs for the 520,000 sq ft BREEAM “Excellent” building which includes Sainsbury’s new store support centre were approved by Camden Council last month. A reserved matters application for building ‘T1′, which will include the site wide energy centre, has been submitted to Camden.

For more information contact Kate Fisher at London Communications Agency, on 020 7612 8480

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