OpinioN8

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How The otHer half bids - what Hornsey Town Hall might be

Taking yet another perspective on the news that Hornsey Town Hall is up for a Cabinet decision on October 18th to sell a long lease to the FECIT - Far East Consortium International Taxhaven / Dorsett Hospitality and Coplan Estates. What was it this bid had to see off to win? Obviously there's a lot we don't know because of the secret nature of the OJEU process, but there are some things we do know.

We do know that Haringey don't know what the Community Use offer from FECIT will be. In their own words "If Haringey’s Cabinet gives approval, FEC and CoPlan will [ . . . ]start detailed discussions about the community space and arts provision". They have not yet even started on the detail.

We do know that Haringey don't know who will operate the Community Space. In their own words "The consortium has [ . . . . ] been in discussions with ANA Arts Project Ltd". No clue as to how well the talks have gone, nor if there is any sign of agreement.

We do know that there will be no small business in the revamped Town Hall. FECIT needs all the space for its middle class Chinese clientele, so 74 businesses employing 130 people will be displaced to make way for 120 hotel staff (on minimum wage and zero hours contracts?).

We do know the details of the losing bid. The losing consortium (Tishman Speyer, Bioregional and Ethical Property Company, with award-winning Fielden Clegg Bradley as architects) has a very detailed offer, which it has now made available to the public.

It states "Ethical Property Co will run 20,000sqft of workspace for local SMEs, start-ups, social enterprises, charities and third-sector organisations" which is what 60% of the respondents to HTHCT survey wanted. It is almost as though the losing bidder had paid attention to the wishes of the public, as stated prior to the bidding, and had stayed in touch with Crouch Enders throughout. How very dare they!

I'll say this again - By my marking the Hong Kong Hoteliers get null points, Tishman Speyer, Bioregional and Ethical Property Company get the full 30%. According to all the promises the Hotel doesn't even make it to the drawing board.

Tags: dorsett, far east consortium, hornsey town hall, ojeu, tax haven

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