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BTR Investor Does Second Deal With A Luxury Flat Builder Looking To Sell

The Electric Boulevard element of the Battersea Power Station scheme

Specialist residential investor MGT has bought a portfolio of high-end apartments at the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station, the second time it has done a deal with a developer for apartments in a scheme originally built for sale.

MGT has bought 92 apartments in the Electric Boulevard element of the Battersea redevelopment, EG reported, paying £150M for the properties. Electric Boulevard comprises 542 flats across three buildings, two designed by Gehry Partners and one designed by Foster+Partners.

The one-, two- and three-bedroom flats are dispersed throughout the three buildings and will now be rented out, MGT said. 

A year ago, MGT and its sometime joint venture partner, U.S. investor Lincoln Property Co., announced a deal to build 500 BTR units at Greenwich Peninsular, the 17,500-unit scheme in Greenwich in south east London. Previously the scheme had been entirely conceived as being built for sale by Hong Kong developer Knight Dragon. 

Lincoln and MGT are also developing a mixed-use scheme in Reading, to the west of London, which will comprise more than 1,200 rental apartments, 675K SF of offices, a 200-bed hotel and 100K SF of retail and leisure space. 

The Battersea Power Station scheme will include 4,239 new homes and 3M SF of commercial space and cost up to £9B to build. It is being built by Malaysian firms Sime Darby, SP Setia and EPF, who bought the project out of administration.

But the scheme’s construction has coincided with a downturn in London high-end residential values, which peaked at the end of 2014. 

The 42-acre site’s owners caused controversy in 2017 when they cut back the number of affordable housing units, saying that if they did not do so, they would not make an acceptable profit.

The owners took a £156M write-down on the value of the project last year after Covid-19 slowed construction. 

In April last year the consortium sought permission to change planning for 250 proposed homes to about 243K SF of office space. Apple has already leased about 500K SF of office space being built in the former power station itself for a new UK HQ.