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Landmark London Offices: Will Skyscrapers Be Scrapped?

Landmark London Offices: Will Skyscrapers Be Scrapped?

An investigation undertaken by the BBC has found that dozens of skyscrapers in the City of London may never see the light of day…

In 2004, the Gherkin opened at 100% occupancy. It was the last landmark skyscraper to do so; each monolith construction in the City has been doomed by the failing economy.

Now, according to a BBC investigation, developers are beginning to revise the wisdom of introducing new skyscrapers to a quiet marketplace.

The most recent developments to be cancelled or suspended include:

  • 100 Bishopsgate
  • Can of Ham
  • One Trinity
  • Principle Place
  • The Pinnacle
  • Wall Place

The hold-up for most of these projects is not the lack of investment funding or an inability to secure planning permission. Instead, developers are questioning the profitability of a project as they look ahead into its future.

ΓÇ£At the moment, if you donΓÇÖt have a tenant you donΓÇÖt have a project ΓÇô so you donΓÇÖt bother,ΓÇ¥ EC Harris Consultant Simon Rawlinson told the BBC.

ΓÇ£Projects have been cancelled or delayed in the past 12 months because they thought they had a pre-let, and that fell away. Those projects had to be mothballed. Getting the tenant is absolutely critical.ΓÇ¥

But not all respondents to the BBC investigation are convinced that this sign of the times is anything more than a temporary concern.

ΓÇ£IΓÇÖve seen four recessions during my career and in each one IΓÇÖve heard people say, ΓÇÿLook at all this empty office space, why do we need it?ΓÇÖΓÇ¥ recalls Peter Murray, the Chairman of the London Centre for the Built Environment.

ΓÇ£And after each one, as the economy has improved, it has become occupied.

ΓÇ£In the long term I am very optimistic about the City, because the City has shown throughout history that it is able to deal with pestilence, bombing, blitzes, fires, all those things. It bounces back.ΓÇ¥

What do you think? Will the skyline of London continue to rise in the next 12 months or has the economy put paid to our ever-rising constructions?

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