Apple has agreed a deal to create a spectacular new London headquarters at Battersea Power Station in a massive boost for the developers behind the £8 billion regeneration of the Grade II-listed building.
The iPhone and iPad maker will take 500,000 sq ft of office space across six floors in the power station’s central boiler house, which is being thoroughly restored after 33 years standing dilapidated on the banks of the Thames. Apple will move 1,400 staff into the building in 2021, from eight sites around the capital. Apple said “This is a great opportunity to have our entire team working and collaborating in one location while supporting the renovation of a neighbourhood rich with history.”
Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, the power station is the largest brick building in Europe but has been abandoned since 1983 after it was decommissioned. Previously, there have been numerous attempts to redevelop it, one of which included turning it into a theme park, all of which have failed. It was saved in 2012 by a consortium of Malaysian shareholders, Sime Darby, SP Setia and the Employees Provident Fund, who are committed to redeveloping it as a 42 acre site of offices, shops, restaurants and luxury homes. As early as December 2016, hundreds of residents expect to move into the first completed apartment block, known as Circus West. Stars including Sting and adventurer Bear Grylls are known to have purchased properties at Battersea Power Station. A new Zone 1 Northern Line Tube station is under construction and is expected to be completed in 2020.
The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said “I’m delighted Apple is moving into Battersea Power Station, helping to generate new jobs and economic prosperity for London.” Apple will account for 40% of the office space in the power station. The deal is the largest commercial letting in the West End of London and its surrounds for 20 years. Apple’s main European headquarters will remain in Cork, but the Battersea site will be one of its biggest offices outside the US.
The agreement follows Facebook and Google likewise signing up for developments in London. Facebook will be occupying offices off Oxford Street, while Google is building a campus in King’s Cross. The move is an exciting and high profile success for the new Nine Elms development in Battersea, which will also soon be home to the American Embassy.