The Metropolitan Police has hired Knight Frank to advise it on the disposal of around 250 surplus buildings in London.
It told the Greater London Authority (GLA) last week that it wanted to reduce its estate from 363 buildings to around 100.
About 75 of the properties the Met wants to dispose of are held as freeholds and it said these could accommodate around 1,900 homes, half of which would be affordable.
The bulk of the freehold properties are relatively small sites, predominantly former police stations, which the Met said could accommodate an average of 23 homes per plot. However, the surplus estate is also thought to include around five larger sites that could be suitable for izeable blocks of flats.
The Met is thought to be keen to sell the sites as portfolios and has a target of around £300m of capital receipts. Four of the buildings are set to hit the market within weeks.
The property industry welcomed the move. Laurence Bowles, associate, residential research, at Savills, said: “1,900 homes is not a massive number on its own, but when viewed as part of the wider public land release, it is quite a significant step.”
Mark Farmer, chief executive of property consultancy Cast, added that while the “jewels in the crown” of the Met portfolio had already been sold - in the shape of New Scotland Yard and the former Hendon Police College - the smaller sites would be “an opportunity for the GLA to bring in the SME sector, which ties in with central government policy”.
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