Walkie Talkie will be built confirms Land Securities

Aaron Morby 14 years ago
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Land Securities is in talks with fellow developer Canary Wharf about building a £300m landmark office tower in Fenchurch Street, London.

The developer today confirmed it planned to press ahead with the building, dubbed the Walkie Talkie for its curving elevation, and aimed to complete the 36-storey skyscraper in 2014.

Mace will be back on board for the main building contract after being selected as builder before the project was mothballed.

Land Securities echoed British Land’s claim of a strong recovery in the London property market.

This was underlined in today’s results, which showed the developer had rebounded from a £4.7bn loss to a £1bn profit this year.

The firm said it intended to build early in the cycle to reap the benefits of competitive construction pricing, rising rental values and a liquid market in which to make sales.

Land Securities chief executive Francis Salway said: “During the year we stood back and tested our strategy.

“The review reaffirmed our confidence in the opportunities we see in the two largest segments of the UK commercial property market, London offices and retail.”

He added: “We have an unrivalled pipeline of potential projects in our London Portfolio, with over 110,000 sq m of developments already underway and up to a further 400,000 sq m of development and refurbishment opportunities.

“We maintain our view that property values will rise over the next five years but, with the likelihood of volatility in consumer spending and business investment, the path may not always be smooth,” he added.

On the retail side, Land Securities said its main priority for this year is to expand its out-of-town presence with further acquistions and development.

Land Securities’ pipeline projects

  • 272,200 sq m of London development schemes with planning secured
  • 111,100 sq m of London development and refurbishment opportunities in designt
  • In talks with potential partners for a joint venture (JV) on 20 Fenchurch Street
  • Good progress on pre-letting proposed 70,000 sq m shopping centre development at Leeds Trinity, Leeds
  • Planning consent achieved on three supermarket developments with J Sainsbury

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