SkyscraperCity banner
1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
14,131 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Battle to save London Eye

By Mira Bar-hillel Property Correspondent, Evening Standard
19 May 2005

A furious row erupted today over the future of the London Eye. Politicians, writers, broadcasters, actors and businesses reacted with outrage to news that the landmark tourist attraction could be dramatically evicted from its site on the South Bank within weeks.

They spoke out after the Evening Standard revealed how the South Bank Centre (SBC), owner of the land on which one part of the Eye stands, has served the landmark with an eviction notice effective on 1 July.

It sent the legal warning after attempting to increase its rent from £65,000 a year to £2.5 million - an increase which the Eye's owners are opposing.

Supporters of the Eye hoped the board of the SBC - chaired by Labour peer Lord Hollick - would have backed down after a meeting last night. Today politicians from across the political spectrum and celebrities joined forces in an attempt to put pressure on the SBC to settle the row and secure the Eye's future.

A spokesman for Visit London said closure of the wheel would be a disaster for the capital. He said: "It is one of London's most important visitor attractions."

The project cost £85 million in 2000 - financed by British Airways. Its income is now about £40 million a year but repaying the loan to BA eats up almost all its profit. In addition Tussauds, appointed operator in perpetuity by BA, takes four per cent of revenue as its "management fee". The Eye's debt is growing at the rate of £25 million a year and now stands at more than £150 million.

The plot of land it is situated on is designated Metropolitan Open Land and has no commercial value because it cannot be built upon.

The original agreement between the Eye and the SBC was that it would pay a rent of £65,000, eventually rising to £210,000.

However, when the lease expired, the SBC decided it wanted to negotiate a new rent. At the same time SBC sent the Eye company a letter demanding the removal of "the wheel and all other items from the premises by 1 July at the latest".

Kate Hoey, Labour MP for Vauxhall, said: "[Culture Secretary] Tessa Jowell knows about this. She should intervene and should be calling Lord Hollick into account ."

Actor Tom Conti accused the SBC of holding the Eye to ransom with its rent demand. "It would be an absurd waste of money to have to move it," he said. Meanwhile, Today programmepresenter John Humphrys said: "It would be daft to close it. It's not Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Column or St Paul's, but it is an important feature in London."

Other people to support the campaign to keep the Eye include LBC presenter Nick Ferrari, newsreader Alastair Stuart, TV presenter Lowri Turner and author and Standard columnist Will Self, who said: "It has become an icon in an incredibly short time."








 

·
Ho hum
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
Hard ass negotiating tactic that's all.

Greedy fuckwits all the same.

*EDIT* Also beware the journalist. Old Mira's never let a few facts get between her and a good story as we all know
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Good news. The wheel was only ever gonna be a temporary thing anyway. i think it looks tacky
 

·
Ho hum
Joined
·
2,936 Posts
Lizard said:
Good news. The wheel was only ever gonna be a temporary thing anyway. i think it looks tacky
Never been round it then?
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,849 Posts
The project cost £85 million in 2000 - financed by British Airways. Its income is now about £40 million a year but repaying the loan to BA eats up almost all its profit. In addition Tussauds, appointed operator in perpetuity by BA, takes four per cent of revenue as its "management fee". The Eye's debt is growing at the rate of £25 million a year and now stands at more than £150 million.
this however is true. insane isnt it... it has the worst financing known to man.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,335 Posts
absolutely gothic. They keep on talking about refinancing, but it's one big financial trick by BA. They own the company that is repaying the loan to themselves, set at about 25% I understand. Clever trick to cover obscene profits. And it works, how many times have their been articles on the eye making a loss and therefore the high price is justified - lots.

I have some sympathy for the South Bank Centre as they are clearly not getting a decent slice of the cake and yet probably pay some price in litter collection, landscaping etc..
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,849 Posts
the irony is this - ba are not the only partner in the project, there are others. b.a basically owns a third of the eye with its two partners (one being marks and barfield) owning a third each and these two have to pay a fortune to b.a, basically they are getting no money despite having spent millions on the development of the project. i understand b.a made in excess of 20 million profit from the eye last year. i blame the millenium commission more than anyone else for turning it down when marks barfield originally approached them, they didnt have the money because they were spending it on the dome. had they funded the eye that would be 20 million for good causes every year for infinity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,872 Posts
At the same time SBC sent the Eye company a letter demanding the removal of "the wheel and all other items from the premises by 1 July at the latest".
Heh!!! Jerks.

Paying £65,000 a year for rent isn't very much though for such a large plot of land...........
 

·
Bada Bing!
Joined
·
2,368 Posts
At the same time SBC sent the Eye company a letter demanding the removal of "the wheel and all other items from the premises by 1 July at the latest".
That is fecking stupid! The people who issued that letter should be kicked out of the country! Anyway a compulsary purchase order could be used to resolve the issue? Demanding 2.5 million a year for land that would otherwise be useless to them is outrageous! They are just trying to hold the Eye to ransom.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
34,849 Posts
almost all of the eye is built on public land, this is built on one small corner.
a compulsory purchase order would indeed happen if these threats were serious.
 

·
Against ID Cards
Joined
·
9,799 Posts
Greedy bastards. The eye is part of London now. Can you imagine what would happen if some greedy businessmen demanded an enormous increase for the land on which Big Ben is built if it was privately owned. On BBC London they were contemplating moving the eye to another part of London if a deal wasn't reached.
 

·
Waiting for 122
Joined
·
3,803 Posts
yes that would be better than nothing. Put it near the city? to mingle with the skyline. Imagine that at night, the city, LBT, Tower Bridge. Eek, might look a little cluttered though.

I'm not to worried, the government would step in if things got drastic.
 

·
Bada Bing!
Joined
·
2,368 Posts
I think the only other place for it would be on the opposite bank to the Tower of London by Tower bridge. There are many tourist attractions near by and the view of the city and the docklands would be fantastic. I really don't see them moving it though!
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top