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Old September 9th, 2010, 07:04 PM   #1141
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Old September 10th, 2010, 05:51 PM   #1142
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Pinnacle Tower Developer Said to Be Talking With Schroders for First Lease

The developer of the City of London’s tallest skyscraper is in talks to lease as much as a quarter of the tower to UK fund manager Schroders Plc, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions.

Schroders may rent as much as 250,000 square feet (23,000 square meters) in the 64-story Pinnacle, said the people, who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. Project manager Arab Investments Ltd. said a lease that big would allow the company to secure a loan of 750 million pounds ($1.2 billion) to proceed with the tower’s construction.

“We’re going out there saying we will be aggressive because we need the development finance,” said Khalid Affara, managing director of London-based Arab Investments. “I’m confident I will sign a tenant to enable this project to continue.”

Yemen-born Affara, 43, is vying with the UK’s largest developers to secure tenants for towers being built in London’s main financial district. British Land Co., Land Securities Group Plc and Great Portland Estates Plc plan to build almost 2 million square feet of skyscrapers in the district over the next three to five years. Most need to get tenants in place before they can get loans for construction.

Projects Shelved

The Pinnacle is the only new City office building in the works that’s scheduled to open after 2011. Most office projects were shelved in the financial crisis, resulting in a squeeze on prime London office space that has pushed up rents.

UK commercial property development fell at the sharpest rate for fourteen months in August, Savills Plc said today in a statement. The property broker cited concerns about the market’s prospects and the rate of bank lending.

Affara confirmed that Arab Investments is in talks with a potential tenant. Schroders is one of about five companies seeking more than 200,000 square feet of space in the City, said Rupert Perkins, a leasing agent at real estate broker King Sturge.

Schroders, the UK’s second-largest publicly traded fund manager by assets, has asked real-estate broker Knight Frank LLP to “undertake a preliminary assessment of the City market as part of our longer-term planning process,” spokeswoman Georgina Robertson said in an e-mail. The company has no “active requirement” for space, she said.

Banks Wary

Banks are reluctant to lend money for developments like the 1 million square-foot Pinnacle unless an adequate amount of space is secured in advance. That wasn’t the case before the financial crisis, when lenders funded projects with no tenants.

The Pinnacle Ltd., a group of Middle East investors backing the tower, has only enough money now to build a core four stories high, Affara said. The group has until November 2011 to repay a 140 million-pound loan from HSH Nordbank AG that it took out to purchase the site near the tower known as the Gherkin.

“It’s a complicated build by a developer who has a limited track record in this field,” Perkins said. “Any potential tenant would have to bear that in mind when considering the other towers.”

Affara has overseen three office developments in the City of London. The largest was a 156,000-square-foot building at 36 Gracechurch Street and the others were about 70,000 square feet each. British Land and Land Securities, which are both planning skyscrapers near the Pinnacle site, together own or manage more than 5 million square feet of offices in the area.

High Rents

One bank is about to agree to terms on being the lead arranger of the Pinnacle’s funding package, depending on a major letting, Affara said. The Independent on Sunday newspaper identified that bank as HSBC Holdings Plc in a July 25 report. Robert Baker, a spokesman for HSBC, declined to comment.

Arab Investments wants one company to take as much as 250,000 square feet of space on the third to 10th floors, Affara said. The developer, based in London’s Mayfair district, plans to charge about 60 pounds a square foot in rent for those floors, he said. The average cost of renting the best City offices was about 50 pounds at the end of the second quarter, Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. estimates.

The tower’s highest floors will be the last offered and may cost as much as 90 pounds a square foot, he said. That would be a record price in the City of London, where average prime rents have never exceeded 70 pounds a square foot.

The Pinnacle was commissioned in 2005 by Deutsche Immobilien Fonds AG, the German fund manager now known as Union Investment Real Estate GmbH, which owned the Bishopsgate site. Arab Investments bought the project for about 200 million pounds in 2007.

Tallest Building

“As we began to look at the site’s potential within the cluster of tall buildings that was evolving, we began to realize that it was the site for the tallest building in the City,” Lee Polisano, the architect who designed the Pinnacle, said in a telephone interview.

The tower’s spiral design tapers into a pinnacle, and will stand at the centre of most of the City’s planned towers.

Four blue cranes rise 84 meters over the Pinnacle site on Bishopsgate as the tower’s construction nears ground level. The cranes, more commonly used on oil rigs, will grow to 290 meters during the development, according to Affara. The section of street, a two-minute walk from Liverpool Street Station, would collapse if not for a row of 20-meter struts propping it up from below.

The tower will be 288 meters (945 feet) high when it’s completed. It’s not allowed to exceed 1,000 feet because that would interfere with air traffic, Affara said.

No Takers Yet

No company has formally committed to renting space in the Pinnacle since development started two years ago. Davies Arnold Cooper, a London-based legal firm, is in negotiations to rent about 60,000 square feet, Affara said. Rachael Davison, a spokeswoman for the firm, declined to comment. The company is currently providing Arab Investments with legal advice, Affara said.

Leases on about 15 million square feet of central London office space are due to expire over the next five years, according to Knight Frank. City of London expirations will peak over 2014 and 2015, when leases on about 7.2 million square feet will end.

“Availability in the City is heading down fast,” said Mark Slim, a leasing agent at broker CB Richard Ellis Group Inc. “There’s not a lot of choice for tenants in terms of big floor plates and big buildings.” Arab Investments last week appointed CB Richard Ellis as joint leasing agent on the tower, along with its existing broker, Savills Plc.

“Two or three” providers of serviced offices are waiting to sign lease agreements on the Pinnacle, said Affara, without naming them.

Mideast Backers

The investment group backing the tower includes Saudi Arabia-based wealth manager Sedco and fund manager Pramerica Real Estate Investors Ltd. The Pinnacle Ltd. has invested 350 million pounds in the project, according to Affara.

“Their pockets aren’t deep like the Qataris, to build the whole thing out of cash,” said Affara, referring to the Shard, a rival project half a mile from the City that will be the UK’s tallest building. The developer of the 72-story tower being built near the river Thames is a venture between Sellar Property Group and the Qatar Central Bank. It’s due to be completed in 2012.

“We understand we’re going through a very hard time,” Affara said, referring to the global economy. “But these are very strong investors behind this transaction and they will not allow it to go under.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-0...st-tenant.html
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Old September 11th, 2010, 03:14 PM   #1143
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Fantastic news.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #1144
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It's surely an optimistic sign.

I bet there won't be a lack of large corporations wanting to take such prime office space.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 01:04 PM   #1145
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i really like the design of this building, it looks very intereting and i love the way that it kind of has a skirt hem on the bottom over the lobby. I also think that it's situated in the perfect spot amongst other skyscrapers so in many respects im more excited by this building then by the Shard even though it's not as high. Im really glad it's being built!
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Old September 12th, 2010, 09:45 PM   #1146
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by edtealdi.









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Old September 12th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #1147
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Great! You can really see that's moving up now.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #1148
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And we can now see the Pinnacle sign that will rise with the core! Dosen't look as bold as the Shards but good to see it there anyway.
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Old September 13th, 2010, 10:28 PM   #1149
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there seem to be a heck of a lot of steel around the core compared to the shard ,please explain somebody ?
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Old September 13th, 2010, 10:37 PM   #1150
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the sock View Post
there seem to be a heck of a lot of steel around the core compared to the shard ,please explain somebody ?
correct me if im wrong but i think it may have something to do with tha fact that this is built by jumpform and the shards built by slipform, i think this may rise more like one world trade in NYC, however i may be wrong im no expert.
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Old September 14th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #1151
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there seem to be a heck of a lot of steel around the core compared to the shard ,please explain somebody ?
They are building the basement around the core (hence the steel).
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Old September 15th, 2010, 01:50 AM   #1152
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by Ciudad Bristol.



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Old September 15th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #1153
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thanx guys
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Old September 17th, 2010, 02:43 PM   #1154
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by lumberjack.

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Old September 18th, 2010, 02:43 AM   #1155
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Nice updates, thanks! The Pinnacle is awesome! A great addition to the City's skyline
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Old September 18th, 2010, 05:16 AM   #1156
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That last set of pics is great!
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 12:18 PM   #1157
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Construction site is in full process !!!
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Old September 22nd, 2010, 11:12 PM   #1158
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Fantastic news! Banana time!
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Old September 23rd, 2010, 02:01 PM   #1159
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London is the most beautiful and expensive city in the world.
Mostly visitor prefer this city to tour .London is also the 3rd largest cities in Europe.
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Old September 24th, 2010, 12:42 AM   #1160
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2nd largest by metro population, 3rd in the world for area and second in europe, and largest in both population and area in the european union. Just though i'd share that
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