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Chinese firm invests £1.2bn in London property market

Chinese firm Greenland Group will invest £1.2bn on two property projects in London, in its first acquisitions in the UK.

The state-owned company has signed an agreement with property and investment company Minerva to buy the Ram Brewery site in Wandsworth and is eyeing up a second development in Canary Wharf, to be announced at a later date.

Ram Brewery is worth around £600m and covers 7.75 acres. It has planning consent for 661 homes and 9,500 sq m of commercial space.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson made the Canary Wharf announcement yesterday after a slip-up on his monthly Ask Boris phone in show with LBC 97.3 radio.

Asked by a listener who called into the show what he had planned for 2014, Mr Johnson said: “I was going to mention to Nick [Ferrari, the show’s host] that only yesterday we did an amazing agreement with Mr Zhang of the Greenland company in China, who are going to be building a skyscraper in Canary Wharf bigger than One Canada Square, the current tallest tower there.”

It was later confirmed that details on the Canary Wharf investment have yet to be announced.

On the Ram Brewery project, Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia said: “The Ram Brewery now has an owner with the experience and deep pockets needed to unlock its enormous potential.

“The site comes with a very well-designed development plan which would rejuvenate this part of the town centre, open the historic brewing buildings to the public and create hundreds of new homes and jobs.

“It also delivers on the council’s top priority, which is to redesign the Wandsworth Gyratory and remove through traffic from the high street.”

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