British Land to start building £290m Cheesegrater

Aaron Morby 14 years ago
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Developer British Land is planning to start work on the 47-storey Leadenhall tower in London, signalling the property recovery in London is gaining pace.

The firm said: “We are considering restarting the development of our 610,000 sq ft Leadenhall building in the City and are exploring interest from a potential partner.”

The distinctive wedge-shaped building, nicknamed the Cheesegrater, was due to go-ahead three years ago but stalled when the property bubble burst.

At the time Bovis Lend Lease was in line to build the £290m building and the firm’s name is still plastered on hoardings around the site.

Unveiling strong year-end results, British Land said the property market had improved significantly and it would be going ahead with several other stalled projects.

“We expect to complete the buildings during 2013 and 2014, when we expect market demand for Grade A London office space to be strong and supply limited, ” said British Land.

“Toward the end of the year, strengthening demand and asset prices in the Central London office market saw the economics of development improving significantly.”

“As a result, we took the decision to commit nearly £500 million to developing three office schemes in Central London with an aggregate floorspace of over 1.2 million sq ft.”

The developer said it was also planning to start building work this year on 750,000 sq ft of consented space on its existing retail parks.

Main other London office projects in the pipeline

  • £232m to complete the Regent’s Place estate with the construction of new office and residential buildings with a combined floorspace of 500,000 sq ft
  • £65m to redevelop a new 139,000 sq ft office at 2-14 Baker Street, acquired just after the year end
  • £175m to construct a 700,000 sq ft new building for UBS on the site of 4 and 6 Broadgate.

British Land swung to a net profit of £1.14bn in the year ending March 31, following a loss of £3.88bn a year earlier.

The rebound came as the group reported a 13.5% rise in its portfolio valuation, compared to a 28.2% decline in valuation in the year-ago period.

Underlying pretax profit, which excludes the impact of valuations moves and disposals, fell 7% to £249m.

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