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Regalian to redevelop old air terminal

Regalian, the specialist residential property developer, and three Singapore- based partners yesterday bought the former West London Air terminal building in Cromwell Road for pounds 60m. They plan to spend a further pounds 60m to convert the building into 400 residential apartments and build a 25,000sq ft leisure centre over the next two years.

The 500,000sq ft property has been unused since the Underground line to Heathrow opened nearly 20 years ago. Plans to convert the offices to residential use were beset by financial problems and many potential purchasers paid deposits for properties which were never finished. The resulting lawsuits have now been resolved and the Regalian consortium has purchased the building from Farndale International free of any claims.

The growing demand for office conversions and the sharp rise in London property values, especially in West London, have made the project viable again. Further work to complete the conversions and build the leisure centre would take up to 30 months but the first flats were likely to go on sale within a year, Roland King, Regalian's development director, said yesterday.

The apartments will sell for between pounds 80,000 for a studio apartment and pounds 2m for a luxury penthouse with air conditioning.

London Underground holds the freehold of the building but leases for 125 years will be offered for sale, and purchasers will be allocated shares in the management company once the development is complete.

The venture is the first to be finalised between Regalian and its Singaporean partners, although other projects are under consideration. Regalian will hold a third of the equity, Waterbank Properties another third, NatSteel Properties, a subsidiary of the Singapore Steel company, will have 23.3 per cent and Ossia Land the remaining 10 per cent.

This is the largest single project Regalian has tackled. Its best-known previous venture was the pounds 26m development of Peninsular Heights on London's Albert Embankment, which involved a Hong Kong partner, the Sincere Group.