Olympics: Qatari firm and developer buy 2012 village

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A real estate arm of Qatar's sovereign wealth fund and a British developer agreed a deal on Friday to take over the Olympic Village after the 2012 London Games.

The £557 million ($907 million, 637 million euro) deal cements a joint venture between Delancey and Qatari Diar which will see the village converted to 1,439 private homes, with the possibility of 2,000 more.

The total cost of building the Village in east London, where athletes and team officials will stay during the Games, is £1 billion.

Two years ago the then Labour government rejected offers from the private sector and pumped in £324 million of contingency funding instead, in the hope of securing a better deal at a later stage.

That decision appears to have paid off and the deal includes an agreement for the public sector to benefit from a profit-share scheme as well.

Olympic Delivery Authority chief executive Dennis Hone said: "This deal will deliver a significant return to the public purse and a first-class owner for the Olympic Village.

"It secures two leading property investors with the experience and expertise needed to make the Village one of the strongest legacies from the Games.

"The Village will deliver the best of city living all in one place with high-quality new homes, education and healthcare facilities, new parklands, great transport links, public squares and open space."

© 2011 AFP

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