Major Office Projects Restart in London

Major development schemes mothballed during the recession are back on in force, with the city of London welcoming several new developments, including the long stalled construction of the “Cheesegrater” building, also known as the Leadenhall Building, a tower comprising of no less than forty seven storeys. That project has been on hold for the last two years since 2008, but now British Land has signed a deal with the property department of Canadian pension fund Oxford Properties. The deal, believed to be worth around three hundred and forty million pounds, will help develop the famous seven hundred and thirty six feet tall skyscraper, which was designed by the equally famous architect Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, and is set to be one of the tallest buildings in the entire city. The building will also comprise around six hundred and ten square feet, which will be used as office space, retail space and landscaped areas for the general public on four floors. Construction will begin on the project following the tender process in the January of next year. The core and shell of the Leadenhall building is expected to be already complete by the second quarter of 2014. Inquiries about the executive office space that will be made available by the building have already been made by parties representing London’s business, corporate, financial and insurance sectors. The tower is expected to be positioned on stilts – the space underneath expected to provide an open public space – with a tapered glass façade and exterior glass lifts that will allow the London public a look inside the city’s premiere financial district.

“We are delighted to be announcing the development of the Leadenhall Building,” says a statement prepared by the CEO of British Land, Chris Grigg. “With its unique and iconic architecture, it is a building which will provide an unbeatable combination of style, presence, location and office floor space in the heart of the city of London. Our partnership with Oxford Properties brings together two world class property companies with proven development and asset management expertise.”

Nor is the Leadenhall Building project the only such previously stalled development scheme now back up and running. The thirty seven story building in Fenchurch Street, known as the “Walkie Talkie”, the plan for which was also put in mothballs by property developer Land Securities last year, likewise because of the recession, will now see work on it restart, the company announced last week, after reaching a deal itself with the Canary Wharf Group. Other high profile construction projects such as Minerva’s St Botolph and the Wallbrook have already been completed with yet more, including the Pinnacle (also known as the “Helter Skelter”), Heron Tower and the Shard, having construction already well underway.

The plans should result in the creation of an incredible amount of new executive office space within the city of London, as well as marking some major changes to the sight of the city’s skyline.

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