London plans second TIF-style regen

London Mayor Boris Johnson is considering plans for a new regeneration scheme that would incorporate the use of powers similar to tax increment financing (TIF).

According to a report in London’s Evening Standard, the mayor’s team is currently planning to use the convergence of Crossrail and the planned High Speed Two (HS2) route at Old Oak Common as a spur for a major regeneration initiative.

Deputy mayor for planning Sir Edward Lister told the newspaper that the initiative would see the creation of a “mini-Manhattan” in the area by 2025 by harnessing private investment in a model that could be replicated along the HS2 route.

“Old Oak Common and Euston can be made into an entirely new city quarters delivering tens of thousands of homes and jobs for Londoners but only if we get the HS2 design and funding correct,” he said.

Funding for the project would come through a TIF-style arrangement, in which a levy would be charged on local businesses and money would be raised through borrowing against predicted enhancements in land values.

The mayor would also look to establish a Mayoral Development Corporation in Old Oak Common to deliver the project, with a similar remit as the Olympic regeneration agency.

London is already using TIF-type powers to deliver the regeneration of Battersea Power Station on the south bank of the Thames, while the Crossrail programme has been part-funded by levies on local businesses.