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Hammerson Plans Homes, Stores Near London’s Emerging Tech Hub

Sept. 17 (Bloomberg) -- Hammerson Plc and Ballymore Properties Ltd. plan to seek permission to build homes, stores and offices on a 10.5-acre (4.2-hectare) site near London’s Old Street Roundabout technology hub within 12 months.

Hammerson and Dublin-based Ballymore are working on a 280,000 square-meter (3.3 million square-foot) development proposal for the Bishopsgate Goods Yard, according to a filing to Companies House in December. The companies together bought an option to acquire the site in 2002.

“Where can you find 10 acres of vacant land, a stone’s throw from the City of London, at the heart of the emerging tech belt and with Brick Lane and Shoreditch on your high street?” Chief Executive Officer David Atkins said in a Sept. 6 interview. “This is something we’ve committed to.”

As many as 2,000 homes, office buildings, stores and leisure facilities may be developed on the site, the boroughs of Tower Hamlets and Hackney said in a 2010 planning document. Residential property values in the City of London and its fringes, including the Goods Yard, rose 14 percent in the year through July, double the average growth rate in the best parts of central London, according to data compiled by broker Knight Frank LLP.

Retail will be “a very large component” of the project, which will include residential and commercial space, Atkins said without being more specific. Hammerson, Britain’s third-largest real estate investment trust, has sold London office buildings to focus on retail investment.

“It’s quite a complex site,” Atkins said. “You’ve got railway lines, underground lines, arches. Nobody’s managed to crack it over the years. We think we have a plan.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Neil Callanan in London at ncallanan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Blackman at ablackman@bloomberg.net

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