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Home to the world's press

The International Broadcast Centre and Media Centre is vital to the Games and is being delivered by private sector developers.

Data that accompanies the press centre is impressive. It runs to 45,000m2 with the broadcast and welcoming centre stretching to 20,000m2. The studio area, which will house a battery of the world's broadcasters, will be 55,000m2. Put simply, turned on its side it's 1.3 times the size of the main tower of Canary Wharf.

The ODA's man in charge of this - and the Village - is director of property Ralph Luck. He describes the centre as an upturned L-shape that creates a five-storey office block and a two-storey warehouse, together with a large multi-storey car park.

A team featuring Carillion and developer Igloo was chosen last month as the preferred developer. "It's one of the easier venues to design and build," says Luck. "Carillion knows how to build
offices and warehouses."

Planning goes in later this summer with the aim of getting consent this autumn. The centre should take just over two years to build and the ODA is targeting summer 2011 as its finish date. Then, the world's broadcasters kit out their space and move in.

What makes the media centre and the village interesting is what happens to them after the Games.

The media centre is intended to act as a vast mixed use employment space, together with some residential accommodation.

Carillion and regeneration specialist Igloo, whose owners include Morley Fund Management and Barclays, will be handed a 999-year lease from landowner, the London Development Agency. The pair will be responsible for the planning risk, sales and letting. They will share the profits with some also going back to the LDA.

The banks will fund the media centre alongside a public sector contribution and the ODA will publish funding details once planning consent is achieved. The banks will also be funding the Olympic Village and again the planned date for a deal is the year end. But Luck admits, the funding package for the Village which will feature 3,000 apartments which will be sold for occupation after the Games, is taking longer than expected to finalise.

"A year ago, we would probably have got the money from one or two banks," he says. "Now it would be double that, but we expect to get the money by the end of the year."

Piling work has already begun on the Village project which is being carried out by Bovis Lend Lease under a construction management contract. Bovis's parent, Lend Lease, is the developer on the job.

The initial numbers of flats envisaged was put at 4,200 but this has been reduced through detailed planning to around 3,300. Luck says this is not a credit crunch assisted move, but the consequence of designs being nailed down. "The early numbers were determined by consultants but not until Lend Lease got on board was a detailed design worked up. We didn't need so many flats in Olympic use."

The work on the Village is due to finish in early 2012 - the last of the permanent venues to be wrapped up. Games organiser LOCOG will then fit out the apartments with beds and soft furnishings. Temporary partitions will also be put in. Kitchens are not part of the deal - they will be retrofitted later Đ with athletes eating in communal halls.

The ODA takes some of the profits from the sale of the flats along with former landowner London & Continental Railways and Lend Lease.

A proportion of the development will be set aside for social housing and discussions are currently taking place with housing associations. The remainder is for private sale and Luck knows a nosediving housing market makes his task of persuading banks to stump up the funds harder.

The sales pitch, he says, isn't that difficult.

Prospective owners can look forward to world-class facilities, fantastic new parks, cleaned rivers, new transport links and employment opportunities.

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