West Ham have sold Upton Park as part of the club’s move to the Olympic Stadium. The Hammers’ historic home for more than a century is to be turned into an East End ‘village’ of up to 700 homes in the biggest ever London football stadium redevelopment.
No financial details have been disclosed but a report in the London Evening Standard suggests that the club will raise less than the £71.2 million the 35,016 all-seater stadium is valued at in its accounts. Once the site has been fully developed experts expect it to eventually be worth hundreds of millions of pounds with the apartments expected to prove attractive to fans, investors and other buyers desperate to get a foothold in the London property market.
Blocks of apartments will be built around central public gardens where the pitch is currently laid, following the example set by Arsenal’s former Highbury stadium home in Islington, north London.
A statement on the club’s website read: ‘West Ham United can confirm that Award-Winning local London developer Galliard Group has reached an agreement to purchase the Boleyn Ground Football Stadium once the club completes its move to the Olympic Stadium in 2016. Following a competitive bidding process, West Ham United selected Galliard Group as the purchaser for the site ahead of a number of other national and international companies. The club was impressed with Galliard Group’s links to the local community and their commitment to honouring the history of the Hammers at the Boleyn Ground as part of their proposed development.”
The first match to be played at the iconic Boleyn Ground was against Millwall in 1904.