Developers to cash in on Crossrail purchase orders

British property developers are set to make a killing from landmark buildings bought to make way for Crossrail, the £16bn Heathrow-to-Essex rail link.

A series of buildings across central London, including rock venue the Astoria and properties in prestigious Hanover Square, have been and will be taken over by Crossrail under compulsory purchase orders (CPOs). This will allow key stations to be developed, and could see land sold back to developers at a discount.

Great Portland Estates, the listed developer, is expected to get up to £100m for two buildings at Hanover Square to make way for a station near Bond Street. The company has negotiated a right to buy back the improved site at a discount of up to 10 per cent of its new value.

Great Portland has also offered additional land under a joint venture agreement. If this is not acc-epted, a CPO is expected in the second half of the year.

The Astoria, part of a site owned by Derwent London, will shut this week to make way for a Tottenham Court Road Crossrail station. Sources close to the project said that Derwent would get first refusal to buy back the site at a discount.

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