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Nine Elms: What's planned for the area's £15bn revamp?

Once the home of Victorian London’s riverside wharves and a swampy marshland, Nine Elms is due to be transformed from an inner city backwater to a sparkling new commercial quarter.

Weighing in at 195 ha, the site is the largest regeneration zone in central London and is expected to add 20,000 new homes, 25,000 new jobs and 6.5m sq ft of office space to the capital when it completes. The overall investment is expected to total £15bn. 

With the likes of the US Embassy and tech giant Apple gearing up to move in, what will the area look like when the cranes have finally packed up? And what opportunities are there for contractors? 

Here we outline some of the major projects in the development: 

Battersea Power Station

The vast power station that has become an icon of London’s industrial heritage had lain dormant for decades, more often used as a backdrop to Batman movies than given any real prospect of being developed.

Despite repeated calls to level the site, the arrival of Malaysian developers in 2012 finally saw the behemoth begin its transition back to life. It will become a vast mixed-use development including thousands of homes.

The 17 ha site has been split into seven phases, with architects Foster + Partners and Gehry designing the current £1bn-plus third phase that Bouygues is set to exit

Northern Line extension

A new Northern Line extension is also threading its way through the huge Nine Elms site.

Two twin-bore tunnelling machines named Helen and Amy arrived at Battersea Power Station last month to start the task of tunnelling the 3 km eastward towards Kennington to join the current line.

The final structures of the Nine Elms station, including the platforms, ticket halls and switch tracks at the end of the line are being constructed over the coming months.

One Nine Elms

To the north of the site lies the £900m, 56-storey One Nine Elms, a residential development that will form the centre of a cluster of towers at Vauxhall.

In January, Multiplex was picked by Chinese client Wanda One for the scheme, becoming the third contractor to take up the job after Balfour Beatty and Interserve.

Interserve was originally selected as main contractor in a joint venture with China State Construction Engineering Corporation in April 2015, but the project was re-tendered in March 2016 after client and contractor failed to agree a price .Balfour had been named as main contractor on the scheme last July, which will see 437 residences built, but pulled out after failing to agree terms on the main build contract.

New US Embassy

With a concealed moat and fortified earth works providing extra security, the new US Embassy is a glass cube that looks like a HQ of international diplomacy as well as a modern day castle.

The embassy was topped out in 2015 and is due to open shortly. When complete the embassy acts as the focal point of the centre of the Nine Elms Opportunity Area.

Luxury Living

To accompany the arrival of the US Embassy, a swathe of luxury resi developments have landed throughout the Nine Elms area, with the most eye-catching of them all arguably Ecoworld-Ballymore’s Embassy Gardens.

Earlier this month, the developer launched the latest phase of the scheme with prices starting from £705,000 for a 1-bed apartment.

The Embassy Gardens project will deliver 2,000 homes and 620,000 sq ft of commercial space.

The development also features a sky-pool bridging two buildings within the development.

Thames Bridge

Alongside the skyscrapers, a new pedestrian and cycle bridge across the Thames has been planned to connect Nine Elms with the northern side of the river.

Bystrup Architecture Design and Engineering was chosen as the preferred bidder in November 2015 and a feasibility study by TfL estimated the cost of £40m to build, with £26m of that funding to be provided by developers across Nine Elms.

On the horizon

Although a lot of Nine Elms has already been planned or is in construction phase, more resi schemes could be in the pipeline as buyers return to the market. 

Housebuilder Bellway has reported a rush of interest in its 510-home residential scheme close to the US Embassy, and has seen prices break through the £1,000 per sq ft barrier.

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