04 March 2012 – The Sunday TImes
Tony Pidgely has extended his hold over London’s luxury housing market by buying a development site on the south bank of the Thames from David and Simon Reuben, the billionaire entrepreneurs.
An offshoot of Berkeley Group, the company chaired by Pidgley, has paid £50m for Hampton House, a 1960s office block across the river from the Tate Britain art gallery. The property has planning permission for three towers designed by Lord Foster that would contain 242 homes and a 167-room hotel.
Pidgley, known for his bullish views on the capital, has spent the past year buying development plots along the Thames. Last autumn he beat rivals including Irvine Sellar to snap up One Blackfriars, a spot with planning permission for a 52-storey tower of luxury flats.
The moves come amid a boom in international appetite for high-end London homes. It is understood that Pidgley will look at Battersea power station, which is about to be auctioned off by administrators. However, he will only be interested at a low price because the site is so complex and its new owner will have to contribute £200m towards bringing a Tube line to the area.
The Reuben brothers, whose interests range from racecourses to data centres, have also been on a buying spree. Last year they paid £130m for the In and Out Club on Piccadilly, and last month gatecrashed the Battersea heliport sale.