(File pix) Pedestrians walk past construction cranes at the Battersea Power Station office. Bloomberg Photo

THE iconic Battersea Power Station in London, developed by Battersea Power Station Development Company (BPSDC), is hot news.

The Times reported that Apple Inc is looking to extend existing leases and find temporary space as its move to the iconic Battersea from 2021 may be delayed.

The newspaper, citing people in the property market whom it did not identify, said Apple has had early talks about extending leases in case construction of its new London headquarters is delayed.

BPSDC is owned by a Malaysian consortium comprising Sime Darby Property Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).

A spokesman for the United Kingdom-based BPSDC said it would deliver the building on schedule.

“We are confident the power station will be completed on time and we look forward to Apple starting to fit out their space in December 2020,” said the spokesman.

Built in the 1930s and derelict for decades, work to restore the former coal-fired power plant on the south side of the River Thames started in 2014.

The new Apple headquarters is part of a wider redevelopment of the Battersea project.

Apple is leasing about 500,000 square feet of office space in the central boiler house, or about 40 per cent of the overall space, and plans to move 1,400 employees there.

Currently, Apple houses its employees across eight sites across London. The total floor space at its new headquarters will provide Apple with room to expand its staff to 3,000 if required.

The Malaysian developers have committed £1 billion (RM5.4 billion)to the redevelopment of the Grade 2-listed building, including restoring its iconic white chimneys.

The first phase of the regeneration has been completed, with 865 flats and retail space.

Bloomberg News reported last year the developers were on course to achieve less than half of their original return target as costs rose and wider economic uncertainty dampened demand for the most expensive homes.

In January, Battersea Project Holding Company revealed it had approved a £1.6 billion agreement with Permodalan Nasional Bhd and EPF to take over the Grade 2-listed building. The agreement is set to be one of the largest London property deals, beating the £1.28 billion paid by Chinese investors for the Walkie Talkie tower last July.

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