US tech giant Apple is reportedly looking for an alternative site for its new British headquarters following construction delays at its iconic Battersea-based offices.
The world’s first trillion dollar company is set to be the anchor tenant of the redeveloped Battersea Power Station, where it is planning to home 1,400 staff and create a London Campus.
The plans were first revealed by Apple and the Battersea Power Station Development Company back in 2016.
In 2016, Apple unveiled plans to occupy space on all six floors of the site, moving in all its staff who are currently spread across eight offices in the city.
The goal is to have the facility open by 2021, with Battersea Power Station also being developed into a residential area with around 4,000 homes.
But according to a report in The Times, Apple is now looking for alternative sites.
It is thought to be a safeguard against Apple being dependent on one single site, but it comes after the development company said construction delays have resulted in some residential buyers pulling out of the project.
“We are a number of months delayed, absolutely,” said developer Simon Murphy. Speaking of the residential buyers, he added that “we told everyone what the situation was, we offered them the chance to stay or go, and I’m delighted that 80% have said they will stay.“
A spokesperson for Battersea Power Station Development Company said the construction delays, which led to a few purchasers handing back apartments, are on a different phase and not on the power station itself. These have since been resold.
Apple added: “We are looking forward to opening Apple’s new London Campus at the Battersea Power Station in 2021.”
Battersea Power Station in Wandsworth has been empty for nearly four decades as a series of developers tried and failed to devise a viable scheme.
Work is continuing at a cost of £2 million a day.
A Malaysian consortium bought the 42-acre plot in 2012 and has committed £1 billion in pushing forward the redevelopment, including restoring the station and its four distinctive white chimneys. A first phase, including 865 flats and retail space, has been completed.
DMZ thinks Apple is simply doing its due diligence and ensuring it has a back-up plan in place.
But the news is a concerning for London, with Mayor Sadiq Khan previously describing Apple’s plan to move into Battersea Power Station as “a further sign that London is open to the biggest brands in the world”.
The announcement was labelled “a game-changer for the development” by Ed Mead, board member of Douglas & Gordon estate agency.
Apple agreed to lease a whopping 500,000 square foot in total, making it one of the biggest single office deals ever signed in London.
A spokesperson for Apple said the move was “a great opportunity to have our entire team working and collaborating in one location while supporting the renovation of a neighbourhood rich with history.”
Apparently the developers turned away large chain restaurants, offering retail space first to independent shops currently based in artsy areas like Peckham.