MWB unveils plan for £300m Docklands project

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The Independent Online

Marylebone Warwick Balfour, the property group, is planning a £300m commercial and residential scheme alongside the new ExCel exhibition centre in London's Docklands area.

Marylebone Warwick Balfour, the property group, is planning a £300m commercial and residential scheme alongside the new ExCel exhibition centre in London's Docklands area.

The company has applied for planning permission to develop a 10 acre site, which is across the river from the Millennium Dome and close to the City Airport. Transport is provided by the Docklands Light Railway and the Jubilee Line.

The scheme will have 750 hotel rooms, 150 hotel suites, 710 flats and 50,000 sq ft of offices. Providing a total of 1.5m sq ft of accommodation, the development aims to be completed by 2006.

Joe Shashou, a director of MWB, said: "ExCel will be the most successful exhibition space in Europe and we will be providing the necessary complementary facilities and infrastructure."

MWB is already in talks with several hotel operators to take on the hotel on the site and has appointed Sieferts as the architects to the scheme. MWB owns 70 per cent of the development, with partners Maccon Group of South Africa and Sunrise, a Malaysian company.

ExCel opens the first phase of the exhibition and conference centre, of 1m sq ft , this November - with another 700,00 sq ft to be added later. It expects to attract 2 million visitors to the 120 events scheduled for the first year of operation - which will include the Toy Fair and the DIY and Home Improvement Show. From 2004, the London Boat Show will move to ExCel, from its current Earls Court venue.

MWB has already undertaken a major development in Docklands. It has a 1m sq ft mixed-use scheme at West India Quay, near Canary Wharf, which includes a cinema and 107 loft-style apartments.

The company also has planning permission for a 300 bed hotel, housed in a tower, on this site. It is currently in advanced negotiations with an operator for the hotel.

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