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Old September 9th, 2010, 06:38 PM   #1861
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Basketball Arena





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Old September 10th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #1862
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Olympic Village











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Old September 11th, 2010, 07:34 PM   #1863
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London 2012 Olympics proving to be a winner for business


Two years to go: An analysis by The Daily Telegraph of stock exchange announcements shows that the Olympics is already affecting British business.

London won the right to host the 2012 Olympics with the economy booming and the FTSE 100 at 5,229. Five years later, following one of the deepest recessions in history and with the stock market still struggling to clear 5,500, the value of the Games to British businesses has evolved to an extent few could have imagined.

As the banking system teetered on the edge of collapse in late 2008, Tessa Jowell, then the Olympics Minister, questioned whether London's bid to host the Games would turn out to be a costly mistake. "Had we known what we know now, would we have bid for the Olympics? Almost certainly not," she said. The £9.3bn bill was steep for a country whose national debt was heading for the one trillion pounds mark.

However, as the UK edges ever closer to July 2012, John Armitt, chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority, insists the Games will be a "fillip" to the economy and that the recession has been a "curate's egg" for the project.

Speaking in an interview with The Daily Telegraph he said: "When we won the Olympics the economy was booming but within about six months the reverse was true. Without the recession it [construction of the Olympic venues] would have been challenging in terms of inflation and getting labour on site. But equally, we wouldn't have had to use our contingency fund for the Olympic Village."

Armitt joined the ODA in September 2007 from Network Rail, where as chief executive he presided over the rebuilding of Britain's railways – but at more than double the costs to the taxpayer.

As chairman of the ODA, he is responsible for overseeing construction of the venues and infrastructure that will host the Olympics. Today, 10,000 workers are on-site at the Olympic Park in Stratford, and the ODA aims to hand the keys over to the organising committee, Locog, late next year.

"Our biggest achievement is doing what we said we would do," says Armitt, insisting construction remains on-time and on-budget.

An analysis by The Daily Telegraph of stock exchange announcements shows that the Olympics is already affecting British business. In 2010, 29 listed British companies have referred to the 2012 Olympics as having a material positive impact.

This includes 10 companies involved in construction such as WS Atkins, the engineering design provider to the Games, but also businesses in transport, retail and other industries.

For example, Hornby, the model manufacturer, has launched its first range of London 2012 products, while William Sinclair Holdings, a horticulture group, has won a contract to provided soil to the Olympic Park.

Although a spokesman for William Sinclair declined to comment due to ODA restrictions, it is believed the company has been tasked with producing different soils capable of hosting the array of global flowers planned for the Park.

Six property companies have also already stated they expect to benefit from the Olympics. For example, Telford Homes, the housing developer, says the regeneration around the Park is boosting demand for new homes in East London, while Capital & Counties owns Earls Court Exhibition Centre, which will host the volleyball tournament.

Overall, according to a study for the Government by PricewaterhouseCoopers in 2005, the Olympics will boost the London economy by £5.9bn and the rest of the UK by a further £1.9bn.

Outside London, £1.1bn of the benefit will come during the event itself as tourists arrive in the country. But for London, the overwhelming majority of the benefits – £3.4bn – will come before the Games, with £1.6bn after it. This is primarily due to spending on construction.

But while the billion pound figures look impressive, the survey suggests that as a percentage of GDP the impact of the Games is limited. In 2012, for example, the Olympics are forecast to add just 0.066pc to the UK economy and 0.258pc to London.

Mark Ambler, a director in the economics team at PwC who produced the report, says the recession means those figures now represent a significant underestimation. "It has changed for two reasons," he said. "The Games will cost more than foreseen but also the value of the spending is greater than foreseen."

When the Olympic contracts were first tendered, private companies' order books were overflowing and their appetite to work on high-profile public projects had been damaged by debacles at Wembley and the Millennium Dome.

However, following the credit crisis, the ODA contracts have emerged as valuable and stable work due to construction halting elsewhere in the UK.

Armitt and his team have learned from previous public project failures, introducing target price contracting as a way of boosting the relationship between the client and contractor. This agreement means a design-and-build price is agreed prior to construction, with the ODA and contractor then sharing any upside or downside.

So far, the ODA has issued 1,300 contracts worth £5bn. Of those, 98pc have been won by British companies – with most based in the South East, Midlands and the North West – while small and medium-sized businesses have secured 65pc of the work.

"One of things that worried us was with the recession was that we could have failures [in the supply chain]," Armitt explains. "We have tried to get an environment where we help people."

As yet, no Olympic contractor or sub-contractor has gone bust. Companies have been helped by the ODA pledging to make payments within 18 days rather than the industry standard of 30, and by pushing tier one contractors to pay promptly.

According to Mr Armitt, the ODA has also been careful not to "overload" businesses with too many contracts.

However, the recession has still scarred the Olympics. The ODA is having to build the £1bn Olympic Village and £350m media centre itself because the private sector was unable to raise the funds, while land sales are expected to raise £150m less than expected because of falling values.

The Olympics has also failed to escape public spending cuts. The Coalition Government has shaved £27m from the ODA budget, although Armitt insists these savings will be found without changing the nature of the venues or infrastructure.

With £300m of contracts still to be awarded – including construction of the BMX and shooting facilities –future challenges still lay ahead. Terminal 5 and the Millennium Dome, Armitt warns, are haunting examples of complex projects that were successfully constructed but suffered damaging publicity on completion because of operational problems.

"It is critical for us that we don't fall over in the next nine months," he cautions.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/l...-business.html
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Old September 15th, 2010, 01:43 AM   #1864
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Quote:
Olympic spirit behind East End’s new hotels


Luxury living: The hotel's penthouse suites will become the area's first £1 million flats

A 42-storey luxury hotel with unrivalled views of the Olympic stadium is to be built in Stratford in a further sign of 2012-Games regeneration in the East End.

The development is by the Manhattan Loft Corporation, which is credited with importing New York-style loft living to the UK.

It proposes 253 high-rise apartments — with penthouse suites set to become the East End's first £1 million flats — on top of a seven-storey, 150-bed hotel to be completed in time for the Games.

According to Estates Gazette, Manhattan Loft Corporation has signed a deal with land owners London & Continental Railways.

To be built on land directly to the north east of Stratford International station opposite the Olympic stadium, the development is awaiting planning permission.

In a further boost to the East End, Australian shopping centre giant Westfield has teamed up with InterContinental Hotels Group to submit plans for a second, 350-bedroom hotel at its £1.95 billion Stratford City shopping centre.

The 11-storey hotel would be built close to the Manhattan Lofts Corporation scheme above one of the retail buildings on Stratford City's Southern Boulevard.It will feature a 188-room Holiday Inn and 162 serviced apartments run under the Staybridge Suites brand.

Westfield is already pressing ahead with a 267-bedroom Premier Inn hotel next to Stratford International Station.
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...-new-hotels.do
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Old September 15th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #1865
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[IMG]http://i54.************/2hxm4x1.jpg[/IMG]

Plans for a giant clock in Trafalgar Square counting down the time until the start of the 2012 Games are set to be approved by the City of Westminster.

The proposals do not specify who designed the clock, which is set to be approved on Thursday, just days before the start of London Design Festival.

The 6.5m-high structure, developed by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (Locog) and sponsored by Omega, will have a concrete base and will be clad in brushed stainless steel. It will sit in the north-west corner of the square from 15 March 2011 to mark the 500 day deadline to the start of the Games.

For night time viewing it will feature LED lighting strips of varying colour, while the digital clocks and Olympic and Paralympic logos will also be illuminated.

Planners at the council admitted “there is much to take issue with in terms of design” citing its “asymmetrical position, its substantial height, the cladding materials and the illumination” as inappropriate, but recommended its approval because of the exceptional circumstances.

English Heritage declined to respond to the planning application, with just two bodies – the Westminster Society and the Thorney Island Society – raising objections.

The countdown clock is a stalwart of pre-Olympic marketing in host cities – Beijing placed its version in Tiananmen Square - and the council believes it will become a tourist attraction.

Subject to approval, London’s will remain in place until the end of the Paralympic Games and will finally be removed on 14 September 2012.

from http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/uk/ol...005658.article
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Old September 16th, 2010, 01:32 AM   #1866
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It will be a great way to expose the event among Londoners and the tourists.
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Old September 16th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #1867
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you know,the second pic is very nice,
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #1868
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Thanks
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Old September 16th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #1869
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see loads more pictures from inside the Olympic Park here: Construction of the London 2012 Olympic Site

and read the photo blog here www.insidelondon2012.blogspot.com
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Old September 17th, 2010, 12:39 AM   #1870
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The Velodrome

london2012.com

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image hosted on flickr


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Old September 17th, 2010, 04:26 AM   #1871
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the velodrome is looking great, thanks for those pics
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Old September 18th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #1872
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It will surely be an iconic venue. People usually praise the Aquatics Centre but this one isn't too far behind.
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Old September 18th, 2010, 03:36 AM   #1873
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Does anyone know if they have starting building the BMX track, or if anyone has pics of it?
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Old September 18th, 2010, 04:00 AM   #1874
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
It will surely be an iconic venue. People usually praise the Aquatics Centre but this one isn't too far behind.
I f*****g miss London! I love the Velodrome but the Acqautics Center is way better. Zaha Hadid is a legend!
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Old September 19th, 2010, 04:44 PM   #1875
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Olympic Village

by astrimole.

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Old September 19th, 2010, 07:40 PM   #1876
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Do the English realize its not going to rain inside the Aquatics center or velodrome? Its funny how the roof line rides the stands the same way many of their football venues do. Definitely English.
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Old September 19th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #1877
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Eh?
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Old September 21st, 2010, 12:12 AM   #1878
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The Olympic Village looks a bit nightmarish.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 12:30 AM   #1879
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That velodrome looks great.
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Old September 21st, 2010, 10:05 AM   #1880
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The village is alittle too generic in design. Its a decent scheme, just would have liked some variation.
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