LONDON (Reuters) - A medical charity which said last month it was considering buying London's Olympic Park was named on Wednesday as one of three bidders shortlisted to run part of the Olympic Village once the athletes have left.
London-based trust Wellcome Trust was invited to submit a final offer for the purchase and long-term management of that part of the village currently owned by the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), the body responsible for building the Games' infrastructure.
The other two shortlisted bidders were the international corporation Hutchison Whampoa and Delancey and Qatari Diar, a consortium involving the property arm of the Qatar Investment Authority and London-based real estate investment adviser Delancey.
"The quality of the three shortlisted parties is a vote of confidence in the Olympic Village, demonstrating both UK and international interest in first-class British property," ODA Chief Executive Dennis Hone said in a statement.
Nearly half the 2,818 new homes, to be converted from athletes' quarters after 2012, are owned by the ODA, along with six future development plots in the village with the potential for a further 2,000 new homes.
Triathlon Homes, a joint venture company involving developers and housing associations, has bought the other half for affordable housing.
Politicians hope the 9.3 billion pounds ($15.21 billion) invested in the Games will help regenerate what has been one of the most deprived areas of Britain.
The area in Stratford, east London, will also have education and healthcare facilities, new parklands, public squares and open space, as well as good transport connections.
The private homes will range from studio apartments to four-to-five bedroom houses.
A final decision on a bidder is expected in the summer.
Last month, Wellcome said it was giving "detailed consideration" into how it could become an investor in the wider Olympic Park as well as the village, boosting the hopes for the creation of a science and technology center.
It declined to confirm a Financial Times report that the trust had offered 1 billion pounds to buy up the freehold of the bulk of the Olympic Park, including the stadium, the aquatics center, the athletics village and the media center.
Writing by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter