Croydon teenage millionaire, Hashim Haq, and his father, Nisar Haq, are set to invest £20 million of their money into a two tower block development of a combined 54 storeys.
Haq is hoping the joint investment will allow Croydon to become a rival to central London with the tower blocks, one measuring 38 storeys and the other 16 storeys, boasting a Wall Street style trading floor and a rooftop shisha bar.
Haq said that a major reason for investing in the project was to give young people from Croydon the opportunity to learn to trade. He hopes to create at least 20 jobs on the trading floor as ‘it seems like a lot of people in Croydon are finding it hard to find jobs.’
He added: “I want to invest not just money but knowledge into Croydon. I have thought about making this investment in central London but my home is here, my family is here.”
The development, orchestrated by Phoenix London and Regional, will be built on the site of the Croydon College car park, on College Road.
Haq, who is a former student at Trinity School in Shirley, made his wealth as a foreign exchange trader, working from his home in Birch Lane, and recently invested £500k in a disused pub and opened Aroma Shisha which is currently the biggest shisha lounge in London.
Phoenix director Dilip Kesavan said that without Haq and his father’s investment, the £85 million development wouldn’t have gone ahead.
Along with the trading floor, and the shisha bar, which will include a pool and will be situated on the top of the smaller building, the development will include 159 flats and a five star hotel.
Nisar Haq, speaking to the Croydon Advertiser, said: “When you tell people you are investing (so much money) in Croydon they say ‘are you crazy?’ But I think it’s the best place to be investing at the moment.”
He continued: “We are seeing two-bedroom flats in central Croydon breaking the £500,000 price barrier, five years ago that would have been almost unheard of.”
A council spokesman said this week that final planning approval for the development, which is expected by Phoenix to start next year and take three years to complete, is expected soon.