The BBC reports on the Welsh Assembly Mystery Landlord:
The assembly’s rent for the Ty Hywel building in Cardiff Bay will rise nearly 30% next year from £1.7m. (To £2.3m – Dewi)
It is paid to Crick Properties Ltd, registered in Douglas, Isle of Man, but assembly authorities cannot say who the ultimate owner of the building is.
and further on:
Ty Hywel, originally called Crickhowell House, was built in the 1990s by Grosvenor Waterside, the property arm of Associated British Ports, which owned large areas of land around the newly reclaimed Cardiff Bay.
The Welsh Office took out a lease on the building and it was transferred to the assembly in 1999. It housed the assembly’s debating chamber until the Senedd was completed in 2006.
After being sold by Grosvenor Waterside to insurance giant Aviva, the assembly had the opportunity to buy the building outright in 2009, but decided against it because funds were not available.
It was then sold for £31m to a company set up in the Isle of Man specifically for the purpose. Because of the way this company – Crick Properties Ltd – is structured, it is difficult to find out who is the ultimate owner.
Except thanks to a H/T from Mark McGregor we find a brochure from
Aprirose Ltd, which lists their property portfolio. On page 4 we find:
….Crickhowell House, Cardiff, UK
High quality office building located in Cardiff Waterside, the city’s premier office location where there is near 100% occupancy. Home to the Welsh National Assembly (Government of Wales)
And from their own website (copyright Aprirose 2011) we find a picture of Tŷ Hywel. Unless something has changed in the last month or so could it be the case that Crick Properties Ltd is (as the name suggests) a special vehicle set up by Aprirose to deal with Tŷ Hywel income?
I hasten quickly to add that no illegality or wrongdoing would be involved in such a set up.