After agreeing to make Battersea Power Station their new London campus, Apple is reportedly looking at contingency plans following delays in its construction.
Apple originally planned to take up six floors of the renovated power station. The move would consolidate their 1,400 employees into one building – as opposed to the eight London offices they currently occupy – and make Battersea Power Station Apple’s London campus.
However, the US tech giants are now looking at other office options in the capital, in the event that construction is delayed.
Simon Murphy, Chief Executive of Battersea Power Station Development Company, confirmed that construction is a number of months delayed, but was confident that they will ‘give [Apple] that building at the end of 2020’.
Although it's been reported that Apple is talking to UK property managers about extending leases and temporary locations, these are often safeguards that constitute due diligence in lieu of a large move such as the one Apple is planning.
Apple was originally expected to move its employees into Battersea Power Station by 2021 which would align with Murphy’s 2020 prediction and give them time to fit out the extensive space. Given this, their contingency plans may be merely precautionary. However, a number of residential buyers have pulled out as a result of the delays in construction.
If Apple does move into Battersea Power Station, they will take up 500,000 square feet of space in the central Boiler House, amounting to approximately 40% of the overall space.
They will be sharing the space with other organisations. Last year, 40,000 square feet of office space was added to Battersea Power Station and this year IWG (International Workplace Group) took the remaining 40,000 square feet of space for a business member’s club.
Battersea Power Station stopped generating power in 1983 and has been unused ever since, although multiple attempts have been made to repurpose the building, including a halted attempt to transform it into a theme park. After 29 years of sitting on the south bank of the Thames in Battersea, across from Chelsea, without any successful regeneration, the building was sold to Malaysian developers in 2012.
Those developers have since committed £1 billion to the redevelopment of the Grade II listed building, including restoring its iconic white chimneys. The first phase of the regeneration has already been completed, with 865 flats and retail space.