Peter Singh is the man behind the Redevelopment of £200 Million Oriental City of London!
A Sikh from London is the man behind the Oriental City of London.
He is property magnate Peter Virdee, managing director of Mayfair-based B&S Property, which bought the site in Colindale after the original owners ran into financial difficulties.
The Sikh businessman, who started his career working in his family’s retail firm, built residential care homes before moving into property. He has extensive interests abroad, which he manages with the help of his father, and has been nominated for a Lloyds TSB Asian Jewel commerce award.
Mr Virdee said today he was “absolutely confident” the Oriental City scheme would go ahead despite the economic downturn and property slump, adding: “It would be foolish to say that recent events have had no impact. We are looking at a phased development. The market will be the first part to be constructed so the traders will be the first to return to the site.
“But we will take a wait-and-see approach with the residential component. In the current climate it would be wiser to wait until the housing market recovers before starting construction,” he said.
The site, dubbed the “real Chinatown”, was a shrine for lovers of Oriental food and was home to traders from the Chinese, Japanese, Malay, Thai and Filipino communities.
Plans to redevelop the dilapidated food hall caused uproar, because it would mean the traders moving out while the work was carried out. The traders’ case was backed by both the Commission for Racial Equality and the Chinese government, but the redevelopment proposal was eventually pushed through last March after former mayor Ken Livingstone pledged a £2 million compensation package for the displaced traders. The original owner, Development Securities, was granted planning permission to build a larger market, two major stores, 520 one- and two-bedroom flats and a primary school.
It then sold the site to Mr Virdee’s Mayfair-based B&S in a £68 million deal. The lack of construction activity since last year’s sale had raised fears the project had fallen victim to the credit crunch. However, Mr Virdee told the Standard the scheme is on course and demolition work is due to start imminently.
He said: “We are in ownership of the site and there are no issues regarding financing. Everything is proceeding normally. We’ve signed deals with the contractors and all we’re waiting on is for the final clearance from the council (Barnet). The demolition could start at any time within the next few weeks.”