Capital & Counties Properties PLC (Capco), a UK investment and development property company that specialises in central London real estate, announced on Friday that it has formed a joint venture with the capital city’s Tube operator, Transport for London (TfL), to develop the exhibition centres known as Earls Court 1 & 2 in central London.
The Earls Court Partnership Limited joint venture has been established to enable the development in line with the Earls Court Masterplan, which received outline planning consent in November 2013 and is said to be one of the largest regeneration projects in London. The Masterplan covers 77 acres of land, known as the Earls Court & West Kensington Opportunity Area, owned by Capco, TfL and London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham (LBHF).
Under the joint venture agreement, Capco owns 63% and TfL owns 37% of the shares respectively. A board of directors has been appointed which comprises four representatives from Capco and three representatives from TfL. In addition, Capco has been appointed as the business and development manager of the development, which will enable Earls Court 1 & 2 to be co-ordinated with the wider development of the Masterplan.
Earls Court 1 and 2 will be part of the first phase of the Earls Court Masterplan, under which 10,000 new jobs will be created and 7,500 new homes will be built. Community and cultural spaces will be developed, along with a new primary school, a new leisure centre and new health facilities. There will be thirty seven acres of green open space, which will include a new five acre park. Significant improvements to the transport infrastructure will also be made, such as increased capacity at Earls Court, West Kensington and West Brompton underground stations.
Capco stated that TfL owns the freehold to Earls Court 1 & 2, while Capco is the leaseholder of both sites. The company also owns certain other adjacent land interests, including the Northern Access Road, which will be contributed to the joint venture. The companies expect the Earls Court Partnership arrangements to be fully completed once vacant possession is available, which will result in new 999 year leases over Earls Court 1 & 2 being granted to the Earls Court Partnership.
On completion, other smaller properties in the Earls Court area currently owned by Capco will be acquired by the joint venture. Further phases are expected to include the estates within LBHF and London Underground Limited’s Lillie Bridge Depot, if and when it is operationally feasible to do so, the company added.