3 bids shortlisted for Olympics media center

BY foxsports • January 19, 2012

London's vast Olympic media and broadcast centers could be turned into a fashion hub, a leisure village or an innovation and research center after the Games, officials said Thursday.

The Olympic Park Legacy Company said it has shortlisted the three bids for long-term tenancy, which all aim to create a lively commercial district and generate thousands of job opportunities in London's run-down East End.

''It means we can now look forward to the Summer Games with confidence that our park is on course to become that thriving, vibrant and prosperous new district we have all been striving for,'' said London Mayor Boris Johnson.

The press and broadcast centers, which are housed in separate buildings, offer a total of around 1 million square feet (0.09 million square meters) of commercial space.

Like other facilities built for the Olympics this summer, organizers want them turned into sites that ensure long-term job creation and growth for the area, which is built on a former industrial wasteland. Officials are particularly keen to secure future operators as soon as possible, while interest in the area's real estate is still strong. Long-term operators have already been secured for six of the eight permanent Olympic venues, they say.

The bid from UK Fashion Hub envisions a center that includes a fashion college, a base for online retailing, and offices that will attract international buyers, wholesalers and the creative industries. A second bid from iCITY includes a cloud computing center, research labs, facilities for graphic designers and digital education, and a separate innovation center with links to higher education that would feature British technology.

The third plan, from Oxylane Group, proposes mixed leisure and events space as well as retail space, including a large sports store.

The Legacy Company said it would now begin talks on the bids' details with the three groups. It aims to pick the tenant this summer, with the buildings expected to open from next spring.

The three shortlisted bids were picked from 45 proposals, from sectors including media, retail and education.


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