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Aga Khan Institute for King's Cross - 2010-05-28

Friday, 2010, May 28
Deirdre Hipwell

The Aga Khan IV is in advanced talks to create a centre for Ismaili studies and cultural affairs at London's £4bn King's Cross scheme.

It is thought that the Aga Khan Foundation and King’s Cross Central — the joint venture between Argent, London & Continental Railways and landowner DHL-Exel - are finalising details of an agreement to develop the proposed centre at the 67 acre site.

Property Week understands that plans to build student accommodation for students attending the centre have already been agreed. The final details of the centre which will have a museum-type element are yet to be concluded between the Aga Khan, who is thought to be advised by BNP Paribas Real Estate, and King’s Cross Central.

Aga Khan is the hereditary title of the Imam of the largest branch of the Ismā'īlī followers of the Shī‘a faith. The Āgā Khān is responsible for the interpretation of the faith for his followers and as part of the office of the Imamate aims to improve the quality of their lives and the communities in which they live.

The current Aga Khan IV is Prince Karim Al Hussein [pictured] who was born in 1936 and is the 49th Imam of the Shia Imami Ismailis. He succeeded his grandfather Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan.on 11 July 1957.

If the plans go ahead it will be a high profile occupier at the major regeneration scheme. King's Cross Central is already in talks with a range of other occupiers including Sainsbury's and Ogilvy & Mather.

It will also be an important step for the Aga Khan Foundation which has already established one centre in London - The Institute of Ismaili Studies in South Kensington - which was developed 25 years ago. The building at Cromwell Gardens in South Kensington was the first high profile Ismaili Centre to be designed and built in the West.

A spokesperson from King's Cross Central said: "We are talking to a number of very exciting organisations, large and small, about a move to King's Cross Central. We are not in a position to announce any new deals yet but it's fair to say that a number of our discussions are at a very advanced stage. Potential occupiers are excited about the offer at King's Cross."

BNP Paribas Real Estate declined to comment.

Read more: http://www.propertyweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=297&storycode=3164045&...

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