Revival of the City’s ‘Cheesegrater’ Office Tower
Last week it was announced that Land Securities’ controversial ‘Walkie Talkie’ office tower in the City of London – so called because of its resemblance to the revered 1980’s telecoms unit – is once again facing a development revival.
This week we learn that the wheels of another stalled building project in the City – the 610,000 sq ft ‘Cheesegrater’, also known as 122 Leadenhall – are slowly grating back into action.
Left: The demolition of the former building at 122 Leadenhall. As each floor is supported by the one above, the building has to be demolished from the bottom up.
British Land’s wedge-shaped development project was postponed as the recession took hold, suffering a similar fate to that of the Walkie Talkie tower.
But with a shortage of office space in the City and a number of high-profile firms approaching office lease renewals, both projects now appear to be pushing for a completion date that would see them vie for the signatures of major UK and international corporations.
Yesterday it emerged that British Land has teamed up with Oxford Properties Group, the property arm of one of Canada’s largest pension funds, to build the 47-storey Leadenhall Building. The 50-50 agreement will see the tower developed for ┬ú340m with an expected completion date of early 2014.
Designed by Richard Rogers, the 737 ft tall Cheesegrater has experienced a relatively smooth planning process unlike the Walkie Talkie, which suffered numerous setbacks as a result of public outcry at the positioning and design of the tower. In contrast, planning permission for the Cheesegrater was approved in May 2005, and demolition commenced in December 2006.
The most significant delay was announced in August 2008 when British Land stated that the project would be put on hold due to the recession.
Featuring a tapered glass fa├ºade, the tower will be positioned on stilts to provide an open public space underneath the structure, and exterior glass lifts will give users an impressive view of London’s chief banking district.
The revival of such developments as the Cheesegrater and the Walkie Talkie tower, along with recently completed projects such as Minerva’s St Botolph and the Walbrook, are steadily transforming the skyline of London. Other high-profile construction projects that are currently underway include the Pinnacle, also known as the ‘Helter-Skelter’, Heron Tower, and The Shard.
Find out more about the Cheesegrater – 122 Leadenhall – online at Richard Rogers’ website.
For further information about office space in the City of London visit officebroker.com.