London’s priciest development

The real estate investment company of the Qatari royal family is to buy out Christian Candy's CPC Group's equity stake in the Chelsea Barracks Project Blue, London' s most expensive development…

Candy & Candy , run by property entrepreneur brothers Christian and Nick Candy, will still be responsible for development and planning management, branding, marketing, interior design and interior architecture on the £1 billion project.

Project Blue, which is set to deliver 638 apartments on the 12.8 acre former Ministry of Defence base, has also undergone a number of major design changes.

Both Qatari Diar and the CPC Group denied there had been any acrimony. 'The intended equity transaction relating to Project Blue and the consequent increase in our involvement in the redevelopment of the Chelsea Barracks site are expressions of our deep commitment to the UK real estate market and should not be interpreted as dissatisfaction with our business relationships on the project,' said Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad, Chief Executive of Qatari Diar.

While Christian Candy said, 'We firmly believe that it is in CPC Group's best interests to conclude the transactions as outlined. It fits in totally with CPC Group's current UK development strategy which has evolved considerably over the last two years.'

CPC Group and Qatari Diar made headlines when they bought the site from the Government for £959 million in February this year, equivalent to £75 million an acre.

The changes to the plans follow a public meeting at Westminster City council in September where it is understood a number of issues were raised.

The height of the affordable housing element has been reduced, a 1.3 acre public open area has been added, a proposed café has been removed and a proposed hotel at the junction of Pimlico Road and Lower Sloane Street has been set back to preserve an existing tree.

'Following the public meeting the Project Blue Architects have responded with design changes which we are confident address all our stakeholders' concerns including a reduction in the height and massing of the affordable housing and the creation of a large public open space,' said Ghanim bin Saad al-Saad.

It is the third setback for the Candys. They had to pull out of the flagship redevelopment of the Middlesex Hospital, north of Oxford Street, known as NoHo square, after the collapse of their partner, the Icelandic bank Kaupthing. The bank's collapse has also affected one of their projects in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles.

Source: www.propertywire.com

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