LONDON — Majed Al-Sabah's plans to bring his Villa Moda concept to Europe are on hold for the moment.
A year ago, Al-Sabah revealed plans to open Villa Moda, his emporium of luxury fashion brands, at The Power Station, a 1.1 billion pound, or $2.2 billion, retail, hospitality and residential development inside the former Battersea Power Station here. The store was due to open in spring 2009.
Now those plans are under review after Real Estate Opportunities Ltd., an investment trust controlled by Irish property tycoons John Ronan and Richard Barrett, last week entered into an agreement to purchase the power station for 400 million pounds, or $788 million, from Oriental Property Ltd., a company owned by the Hwang family of Hong Kong.
The Hwangs had planned to develop part of the site — 4.3 million square feet — through their company Parkview International London plc. The family would hold a reduced stake of 37.5 percent in the power station.
A spokesman for Real Estate Opportunities said it was too early to confirm or deny whether the old plans would go forward.
“Everything is under review, and we're speaking to the appropriate authorities. Further announcements will be made in due course," he said. “However, the new plan will probably be a similar mix of retail, leisure and residential properties," he added.
Al-Sabah said in a telephone interview he was confident the Villa Moda project would proceed. “From what I understand, Parkview and the new owners are in step with one another, and both want to see the development project go forward," he said. “All the plans I've presented to Parkview have been passed on to the new owners, and they liked the project. We all plan to sit down and talk when the deal finally goes through."
In addition to Villa Moda, a Grand Hyatt with a conference center was due to open in 2010, along with an urban resort-type hotel and 60 food and beverage businesses.
A Stella McCartney sketch of a custom dress made from protein-based silk in partnership with biotech lab Bolt Threads. The dress will be displayed at The Museum of Modern Art's upcoming design exhibition, "Items: Is Fashion Modern?"