By the time the whole project is finished in 2026, the old Central Buffet and Dockmaster’s Office will be restored to their former glory and new public squares will be created, and thousands of people will work in the new office buildings and live in the new apartments. Job opportunities for local people are coming on stream through the construction works across the lifetime of the project and Newham residents are expected to fill many of the jobs at ABP Royal Albert Dock when the new district is finished.
The company behind the project is ABP (London) Investments Ltd (which stands for Advanced Business Park) and they have developed similar business districts in several locations in China. ABP has the backing of another Chinese company, CITIC, with their subsidiary CITIC Construction (UK) Ltd managing the construction with their principal sub-contractor Multiplex. Work on the first of six phases is well underway and by March 2019, 21 office buildings and a temporary energy centre will be completed.
Some of the construction challenges of the project include working with a ‘live’ Dock only 220 metres from the airport, and the DLR to the North of the boundary of the site. The docks were heavily bombed during the Second World War and the site has been extensively surveyed by the construction team to be prepared for the unexploded bombs and other ordinance.