Premier League soccer side West Ham United have agreed to sell their Boleyn Ground Football Stadium to property developer Galliard Group after they have completed their move to London’s Olympic Stadium.
The announcement comes almost a year after West Ham were granted a 99-year lease to relocate to the centrepiece of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016.
The club opted to sell to the London-based group as opposed to other national and international competitors after being impressed by its commitment to honouring the club’s history when redeveloping the area. No financial details were revealed but reports in the British press suggest that the Hammers will receive less than the historic stadium’s UK£71.2 million book value.
Galliard Group’s proposal will see blocks of apartments, retail space and leisure facilities with underground parking erected on the east London site.
The company has entered into discussions with the family of Hammers legend Bobby Moore with a view to creating a Bobby Moore Memorial Garden. It has also commissioned celebrated British ‘royal’ sculptress Frances Siegelman to create a statue of the former England defender along with other pieces that celebrate the club’s 110-year history at the site.
The West Ham memorial garden, currently located at the stadium’s front entrance, will be retained.
Galliard Group also intends to invite the club’s fans to participate in a poll to name each of the new buildings after former players or famous events in West Ham’s history.
The club’s vice-chairman Karren Brady commented: “We opted to reach an agreement with Galliard because they are a local London developer and employer with origins in east London. We know they are committed to working closely with the local community and Newham Council on proposals to transform the site into a residential and retail village, which will benefit the local community and east London’s regional economy.
“In addition, and most importantly for us, we can see that Galliard are passionate about working with West Ham United to engage their supporters to help deliver a fitting legacy that will honour the tradition of the famous ground.”
Stephen Conway, the chairman and chief executive of Galliard Group, added: “Working closely with West Ham and Newham Council, Galliard now plan to undertake extensive consultation with local residents and businesses and the West Ham United supporter advisory board in order to create a future for the site, which is respectful of the cultural and economic diversity of the local area.”
It is estimated that the redevelopment project will be completed by late 2018, some two and a half years after the club moves out.