Qatar buys stake in 2012 London Olympic Village

Posted Aug. 12, 2011, at 1:21 p.m.

LONDON — The London 2012 Olympic Village has become Qatar’s latest acquisition in sports.

The property company of the Arab state’s royal family and British developer Delancey have signed a $906 million joint agreement to buy and manage the athletes’ village as private housing after the 2012 Olympics.

London’s Olympic Delivery Authority said Friday that Qatari Diar and Delancey will take over 1,439 of the 2,818 new homes on the site and acquire land to build as many as 2,000 more.

The deal includes a profit-share agreement, recouping the British government some of the $15 billion of public money that has gone toward hosting the Olympics.

“This is a fantastic deal that will give taxpayers a great return and shows how we are securing a legacy from London’s Games,” government sports minister Jeremy Hunt said. “The village will be the centerpiece of a new vibrant east London community.”

The companies will rent out the homes, making the project next to the Olympic Park and its main stadium the largest of its kind in Britain.

Oil-rich Qatar won the right last year to host the 2022 World Cup. It already has investments in high-profile London developments, including Harrods. The department store was sold to Qatar Holdings for a reported $2.3 billion last year.

“This is a great deal for London and shows the confidence big private investors have in the future of the city,” London Mayor Boris Johnson said.

A company called Triathlon Homes has already been appointed to manage the other 1,379 units in the village as affordable housing for workers, including teachers and health professionals.

The ODA said the new neighborhood will include education and health care facilities, parklands, public squares and open space.

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