A £1 billion project to turn Olympia London into a world-leading cultural hub has been approved by planners.
YOO Capital and Deutsche Finance International – which own the historic exhibition centre – submitted plans to Hammersmith & Fulham Council last summer to turn the 14-acre site into a destination with leading hotels and restaurants, plus performance venues and state-of-the-art office space.
Award-winning practices Heatherwick Studio and SPPARC are leading on the design and implementation of the project, which will also see 2.5 acres of new public space created.
The transformation will begin from next year, with the first tenants moving in by 2023. YOO Capital and Deutsche Finance International are in advanced talks with some of the biggest names in entertainment and hospitality about taking space on the enhanced site and will announce the first commercial partners in the spring.
The project will create more than 3,000 new construction jobs over the next five years in addition to approximately 5,400 new jobs for the borough when it is completed. It will also bring in an extra £9m per year in consumer spending to Hammersmith & Fulham.
Key features of the project include:
• A 1,500-seat theatre
• A 1,000-seat performing arts venue
• Two hotels
• A four-screen cinema
• 670,000 sq ft of creative office space, including new co-working space
• Upgrades to the existing spaces to turn Olympia London into one of the world’s top exhibition and event centres
• A 200,000 sq ft logistics centre
Chairman of YOO Capital John Hitchcox said: “Not only is this great news for London – it’s also an example of a British project with European investment creating jobs and opportunities in spite of the current economic and political climate.
“We are proud to announce this plan and press ‘Go’ on a £1bn project that will transform Olympia London into a global force in arts, entertainment, exhibitions and events.
“We will achieve all of this with minimal disruption to the hundreds of inspirational events that will continue to take place at Olympia London during the transformation.”
Gavin Neilan, Co-Founding Partner of DFI, commented: “We are delighted to announce that planning consent has been granted for our £1bn transformation of Olympia London and look forward to working with our partners to support the exhibition business and unlock the tremendous potential within the iconic estate.”
Already home to more than 200 events and welcoming 1.6 million visitors every year, Olympia London has championed the arts for generations – from being one of London’s first cinemas to hosting Vivienne Westwood’s first fashion show.
Cushman & Wakefield and CBRE have been appointed as the leasing advisors on the project.