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Old November 18th, 2005, 11:44 AM   #1
jef
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110 Bishopsgate | City of London | 202m | 47 fl

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showpo...&postcount=387


Heron Tower
The City

Height: 246m (202m roof + 44m spire) | Floors: 47 | Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates | Developer: Heron International PLC

Links: Skanska project page with news updates | Mayor Ken Livingstone's comments | Architects' website

Notes:
  • Following concerns from English Heritage about its impact on St Paul's and other historic views, Heron Tower was put through
    a public inquiry. The inquiry ruled in favour of the developers, and the tower was approved on 22nd July 2002 by the Deputy
    Prime Minister, John Prescott. He agreed with the planning inspector that no significant harm would come to the setting of
    St Paul's cathedral and that some marginal impact on heritage interests was "inevitable with any major development".
    He acknowledged that the tower would be "an elegant, graceful and well proportioned structure" and would contribute to the
    overall supply of office accommodation in the City, as well as boosting the economy.
  • The scheme includes an additional smaller tower of around 149m, immediately adjacent to the main building's north side.
    This is Heron Plaza and will include 250,000 sq ft of retail space.
Current Status:
Under construction! The tower is nearly topped out. For more information see the construction schedule.















----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Very good news. see http://business.timesonline.co.uk/ar...877464,00.html

Heron Tower seeks investors
By Jenny Davey

GERALD RONSON is seeking to raise 125 million to help to finance development of his Heron Tower, which he hopes will become the first “six-star” office scheme in London.

CB Richard Ellis, property adviser to Mr Ronson’s Heron Corporation, has circulated a confidential document to a limited number of potential investors with a view to raising 90 per cent of the equity required to fund the near-800ft skyscraper, to be built in the City at Bishopsgate.

According to a report due to appear in Property Week magazine today, Heron hopes to raise 125 million from up to four new partners and will invest about 20 million itself. The balance is likely to be financed through bank loans.

Mr Ronson has already put the Heron Tower project into a Jersey property unit trust, an offshore limited partnership that will own the building. Heron will manage the project and will lead the development.

Stephen Hubbard, deputy chairman of CB Richard Ellis for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, said that the move underlined Mr Ronson’s commitment to develop the tower without tenants lined up. Mr Hubbard said that the completed scheme would be worth about 500 million and Heron was keen to spread the risk by bringing in new partners.

Heron Tower will have a concierge, rather than a reception, and travel facilities and top-class catering facilities. The scheme is also intended to be the most environmentally friendly in London.

Construction will begin in summer of 2007 and be completed in 2010. By that time CB Richard Ellis hopes to secure rents for the best office space of 75 per sq ft. The last time rents of more than 70 per sq ft were achieved in the City was 1999.

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Old November 18th, 2005, 11:48 AM   #2
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Old November 18th, 2005, 11:53 AM   #3
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Seven years from proposal to beginning construction?

Bit of an embarrassment really.

Still don't like the fact the height increase has unbalanced the cluster from the west, but hey, another decent skyscraper for London actually being built is always welcome. Still don't understand why Baby Heron hasn't been started considering it's more likely to attract a tenant and the current site doesn't have big rich annoying arrogant tenants who won't leave.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #4
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When will the londoners be proud and optimistic about their own City? London has fantastic proposals, fantastic new developments ... and you all sound so pessimistic because the developer does not spend hundreds of millions of pounds straight away. It takes times, yes, but do you really believe the process is quicker in other european cities? No! Even worse: there are imo not a single proposal that could compete in term of quality with LBT, Heron, Leandehall, etc. Even in NY the city has to subsidize Goldman Sachs for them to build their new HQ after years of squabbels.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 12:31 PM   #5
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I am proud of London and its proposals.

I'm not proud of the fact there doesn't seem to be a project that hasn't had some kind of delay or general lack of organisation regarding tenancy agreements or whatever. When you consider how quick Broadgate went from being unveiled as a skyscraper to (hopefully) construction it makes me pissed off we're still waiting on the far superior proposals to even begin demolition of their existing site buildings.

I'm certainly not pessimistic about other projects, such as the Olympics or infrastructure projects, even though Britain doesn't exactly have a great track record when it comes to keeping to schedules or budgets. The CTRL I'm pretty much gushing about and can't wait to get onboard when it's complete.

But skyscrapers in London just seem to hit the cracks in the road and every opportunity. Blame it on the office recession, blame it on too many proposals, blame it on EH, blame it on lack of vision, I have no idea. It just doesn't give me confidence, that's all, and that trickles down into other projects.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 01:01 PM   #6
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The frustration is that the planning system has had a hand in the delays causing knock on effects, the perveristy is that the planning system although aiming to extract the best out of the proposals has actually ended severely delaying if not putting in danger the developments that are unique and world beating and letting through squillions of rather poor, architecturally speaking, developments!

There really needs to be a stream-lining of this process, the local authority along with some sort of regional urban design body like CABE, EH and the GLA should have over-riding planning powers and central government should not be involved. Regions such as London should come up with an urban design Masterplan that is agreed by all the relvent bodies and one that each local region fits into thus giving developers an instant boost in creating proposals, obviously each one should be looked at individually but it seems that each of these proposals seems to take everyone by suprise, especially EH who if were in on the proposals in the beginning would be more sympathetic.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 01:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by potto
it seems that each of these proposals seems to take everyone by suprise, especially EH who if were in on the proposals in the beginning would be more sympathetic.
That's my whole point of why I can't understand the whole reason why architects and developers are surprised when their project hits the bumps. If they worked with the relevant bodies, such as EH, or local councils or local people or whatever, they'd probably find a lot of them much more sympathetic to their design instead of railroading through and proposing something that makes them all recoil in horror for being too large or too 'modern'.

It also surprises me architects seem dismayed to make changes to their original proposals brought up by CABE - surely the basics of what CABE like are evident, so why does it seem so bloody hard for them to come up with a design that passes the test first time round? It's not difficult - good base, good design, high quality materials, a design that doesn't infringe sitelines (or at least has had EH involved in the process) and a sweetener for the local community. So why are some architects so incredibly shit as this?

I think it's more arrogance coming through than anything. They think they can get away with it and try to railroad through everyone to get what they want. I bet you if Irvine Sellar worked with EH during the design process of LBT, explaining to them why London needs this tower, what London stands for and working with them at every point in the process I reckon it wouldn't have gone to a PI and we'd be having a topping out ceremony next week. Instead we get a stand off-ish 'no it's far too tall/modern/imposing/spike through London malarky' without any room to budge, ending in PUBLIC INQUIRY IMMEDIATELY stamped across the proposal.

A bit of communication and a bit of better organising might be in order. Either that or we get told of proposals wayyy to early in this country.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 01:14 PM   #8
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London's supposed failures have NOTHING to do with London, its not an embarrasment or a failure on the city's part. Developers want to build in London, despite the recent surge in tall buildings, there is still a distinct fear of tall buildings, further aggraveted by 9/11. It always been the people who don't want the scrapers weilding to much power. They've gotta learn that London will stagnate in all forms unless we build upwards. We are getting some fab designs here, with a few average ones in the form of coin street.

When they are built, its even more of an acheivment and something to be proud of.

I've always been optimistic Heron would go through, and I think they will get the investors.

This should be posted in the world forums
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Old November 18th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #9
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Once the developer starts raising money through equities or loans for financing the scheme it has no other option but to build that scheme, not least because of the collaterals these investors will ask for. In addition, Heron has to generate extra cash inflows through development because Norton Rose will vacate the existing buildings.

Believe me: I don't know of any other firmer commitment. The Heron Tower will be built. This is now taken for granted (unless of course unexpected and extremely adverse economic scenarios)
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Old November 18th, 2005, 02:38 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe
That's my whole point of why I can't understand the whole reason why architects and developers are surprised when their project hits the bumps. If they worked with the relevant bodies, such as EH, or local councils or local people or whatever, they'd probably find a lot of them much more sympathetic to their design instead of railroading through and proposing something that makes them all recoil in horror for being too large or too 'modern'.
You could turn it on its head and call for a more helpful urban design master plan with local sections from the planning bodies - proactive rather than a reactive stance.

I dont mean something that states, this street must be max this height and 80% residential, consisting of georgian style buildings...

but rather something a bit more fluid in-keeping with Londons behaviour for example it would state:

- a landmark building could go here because it is at the axis of the areas main streets or it adds a focal point to a distinct area, not just because it is next to a bus stop and we can then cram in offices!
- a tapering point of not more than this width should go in this area to add harmony to this vista or to add interest to the skyline.. you could go further and specify where domes etc could appear!
- this street must be coherent visually with the following pattern... blah blah and it can cut through the street at these points to create a square
- any landmark building or height increase along the street must respond to the street as a whole
- A highlight feature on a building must go at the following corners for legibility

It seems the development plans are good at highlighting the problems of an area but even if they do recommend improvements they are usually aimed at a small area or completely ignored by developers because they are too specific. Perhaps my suggestions are too prescriptive and perhaps developers do take time to adhere to general considerations but there seems to be something not working somewhere along the line as we still end up with lots of dross even with planning controls
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Old November 18th, 2005, 04:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarJoLe
I am proud of London and its proposals.

I'm not proud of the fact there doesn't seem to be a project that hasn't had some kind of delay or general lack of organisation regarding tenancy agreements or whatever. When you consider how quick Broadgate went from being unveiled as a skyscraper to (hopefully) construction it makes me pissed off we're still waiting on the far superior proposals to even begin demolition of their existing site buildings.

Broadgate has been in planning since 2001 and has gone through 2-3 designs.
I wouldn't call it a quick project.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 04:19 PM   #12
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actually since the early 90s jonny. that said that is seen by the developer as a phase of an existing project so its a completely different thing. this tower missed the last office cycle for one reason - the delays caused by the planning system. LBT missed it for the same reason. if they end up not building the tower at st georges wharf it will be because it missed the housing boom because of the planning system. namely public inquiries.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:13 PM   #13
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a lot can happen till summer 2007. if one or two other major city projects go ahead before 2007, this could be delayed again.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:35 PM   #14
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20 million from heron international isnt much at all, particularly given the amount they make. they flogged off windsor house for 110 million last year.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:36 PM   #15
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As I said when you raise money either through equities or/and bank loans investors typically ask for some collaterals (e.g. assets of Heron) to cover against unexpected losses. In short, because of these collaterals, either Heron indeed build the tower or it does not, in which case Heron goes bankrupt. Since I don't believe Heron will go bankrupt, the tower will be built.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #16
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why raise money jef when you already have it? you know about this financial thing better than me, whats the logic behind it?
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Old November 18th, 2005, 06:32 PM   #17
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This cash is either used for other purposes (e.g. as a collateral against other loans, for dividends, provisionning, interest outflows, etc.) and/or for arbitrage reasons: real estates typically prefer to keep their liquidities to protect themselves against short-term (un)expected adverse events while taking on long-term loans for which the interest outflows are distributed over say 20 years. Finally, risk is diversified when equities are raised, that means lower probability to go bankrupt, hence lower pricing required for the bank loans, and therefore lower interest outflows. Raising equity is also typically used when the scheme is to be built speculatively because the pricing for bank loans is relatively high when no tenants have been signed. Hope this is not too confusing...
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Old November 18th, 2005, 06:45 PM   #18
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thanks... as someone who is averse to debt and who's business owes no-one anything and has 100% control i cant help but wonder why so many cash rich businesses like debt but then i dont build skyscrapers. all is more clear now.
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Old November 18th, 2005, 06:50 PM   #19
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As long as the big mofo is going up, all 800ft of it I don't really care who embarassed who. Right, down to some serious chitter chatter. Come on guys, give me the gory details right down the Heron's underwear. What's the current site like? I take it its going to be demolished 2006 to make way for Heron 2007?
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Old November 18th, 2005, 07:14 PM   #20
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Well as long as it's going up. Summer 2007 seems like a llifetime away tho.
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