For Just A Few Billion Dollars, You Could Own London's Iconic Battersea Power Station

Battersea Power StationThe powerstation is illuminated before the 2010 general elections

Photo: Getty / Chris Jackson

For the first time it its history, London’s iconic Battersea Power Station will be sold on the open market.Stephan Miles-Brown, Head of Residential Development at Knight Frank, described the iconic building as being “as iconic as the Chrysler Building in New York or the Eiffel Tower and familiar to people who may have never even been to London.”

The scheme includes 39.1 acre freehold site, as well as the building itself, said to be Europe’s largest brick building. The renovation of the building is thought to cost £150 million ($237 million), plus a £200 million ($317 million) contribution to an extension of the London Underground.

However, the iconic building has a tough history. Many have tried to takeover the space and failed.

The BBC reports that the hope is that the sale will cover current owners Real Estate Opportunities’ £502 million ($795 million) in debts from the project, which were called in by creditors last year.

The building was opened in 1933, and provided power until 1983.


The building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, who also produced another iconic British design - the red telephone box.


Inside the building was noted for its art deco interior — although the posters currently up actually dates from a party in the 1990s.

By the 1950s the plant was providing one fifth of London's electricity.


It swiftly became a national landmark, famously featuring on the cover of Pink Floyd's 1977 album animals

You can see that iconic cover here.


This plan was abandoned in 1990 after costs spiraled.

Since that point the building has largely exposed to the elements.

Falcons have been introduced to the site in an attempt to keep away the current residents — pigeons.


In 1993 Hong Kong-based investment firm Parkview acquired a majority stake in the building.

Their plan, to be designed by architect Nicolas Grimshaw, was for a shopping centre. The plan took many years to get off the ground, and eventually stalled.

In 2008 Real Estate Opportunities, an Irish-based firm, bought the plant for £400 million ($633 million)


Planning permission for a £5 billion homes, offices, hotel, retail and leisure development has already been procured for the landmark.


As the 30th anniversary of the plant's closure comes up, will it ever be renovated?

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