Axa Investment Managers Real Assets, the property arm of the French insurance group, has committed to back the 62-storey office project at 22 Bishopsgate.
Its decision ends a decade of starts and stops for the key site in the Square Mile. More importantly it signals ongoing confidence in the London office market.
Axa and development partner Lipton Rogers expect to finalise the appointment of Brookfield Multiplex for the main build of the tower within the next few weeks allowing work to start soon after.
The 1.4m sq ft skyscraper will fill an obvious gap at the centre of the City’s cluster of tall buildings.
Firms up for key packages on the £500m construction job include steelwork contractor Severfield, Carey’s for concrete packages, T Clarke is in line for the electricals and M J Lonsdale set for the mechanicals.
Significant preparatory works have already been undertaken on the site, including substantially completing the foundations and ground works, which utilised those from the previously unfinished Pinnacle development, which stalled after the 2008 financial crisis.
This will allow for an accelerated construction timetable, with a target completion date of 2019.
Pierre Vaquier, CEO of AXA IM – Real Assets, said: “Our ongoing commitment to 22 Bishopsgate reflects our firm belief, and that of our clients and partners, in this development project, aligned to the fact we are taking a long term view of this investment.
“The decision to proceed underscores our confidence in the progressive and attractive development that we will deliver at 22, coupled with the anticipated breadth of demand from local and global occupiers for easily accessible space in a prime location in the City of London, as one of the leading global centres for international business, that will respond to their future business needs.”