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Old November 22nd, 2010, 09:10 PM   #2001
PortoNuts
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Luxury homes converted from West End offices

West End offices are increasingly being converted into chic homes for urban multi-millionaires, a study showed today.

Applications have been lodged with Westminster council for about 1.8 million square feet of offices to be changed to other uses, with residential expected to be one of the biggest, according to property consultants H2SO.

This marks a sharp increase in the overall trend. In the years from 2001 to 2009, about 4 million square feet of office space was turned to other uses, of which around 3 million was residential. Other conversions were to to hotel and leisure uses.

Although more office space has been built in developments like Paddington Basin, Westminster is suffering from a shortfall of decent business premises, particularly in the West End, where H2SO calculates a net loss of more than 320,000 square feet of office space was lost between 2004 and 2009.

H2SO partner Paul Smith said many period office buildings in the swanky districts of the West End which started life as private homes were struggling to find commercial occupiers and so were being converted back to their original use.

He added: “While on the face of it this apparent loss of stock might appear to be bad news for the West End office market, it should actually be welcomed as it repositions a whole raft of buildings back to their appropriate use, brings new life to them and also funnels demand to the office buildings that work best for contemporary occupiers. The trend puts the West End in better shape to meet the needs of those who either want to do business or live in the location.”
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...end-offices.do
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Old November 22nd, 2010, 11:18 PM   #2002
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Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
Here are some initial images:

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The scheme will be around 140m.

This was the original proposal, which was 132m roof height, 150m to pinnacle height:

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Old November 23rd, 2010, 12:25 AM   #2003
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Well, it looks original and nice, but I don't think, that it will beat Foster's "Gherkin"
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 12:50 AM   #2004
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The Gherkin will always be a groudbreaking tower but this one is fairly nice, it's the daring side of London's architecture.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 01:05 AM   #2005
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All these nicknames for London's tall buildings, that is what i love about the capital. So much vareity and diversity in London's vast and growing skyline (CW and the City are only 2 of several expanding skyline which gives it that super metropolis feel which is only matched by NYC IMHO) Height to me isn't important in Europe like it is to certain people on the Shard thread, quality is. Quality over quantity anyday.

If only Columbus Tower and the Three Spires could go ahead uninterrupted.

Last edited by Myster E; November 23rd, 2010 at 01:15 AM.
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Old November 23rd, 2010, 11:03 PM   #2006
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All these nicknames for London's tall buildings, that is what i love about the capital. So much vareity and diversity in London's vast and growing skyline (CW and the City are only 2 of several expanding skyline which gives it that super metropolis feel which is only matched by NYC IMHO) Height to me isn't important in Europe like it is to certain people on the Shard thread, quality is. Quality over quantity anyday.

If only Columbus Tower and the Three Spires could go ahead uninterrupted.
That one was given the go ahead for quite a while now.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 12:36 AM   #2007
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A better render of the proposed Cucumber Tower.

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Old November 24th, 2010, 08:59 PM   #2008
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Looks to much like Birmingham's regal tower to me.
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Old November 24th, 2010, 11:33 PM   #2009
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I like towers with dark cladding.
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Old November 25th, 2010, 03:39 PM   #2010
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£1bn facelift to get West End in shape for the 2012 Olympics


Elegant: W Hotel in Leicester Square

The West End will have a £1 billion makeover before the Olympics, it was announced today.

Business leaders said the investment, to benefit the capital's retail and leisure sections and infrastructure, is a sign of “growing confidence” in the area.

They said the developments, which are being funded by public and private-sector investments, will ensure visitors will be able to enjoy “world-class” entertainment during the London 2012 Games.

New retail developments, including a shop devoted to M&Ms in Leicester Square, are planned on the back of major investment in projects such as the £22 million Hippodrome overhaul, turning it into a “leisure casino”.

A raft of new hotels will also open, including Britain's first W Hotel and the first St John's Hotel. The Grosvenor Hotel, Hyatt Regency London and Saint George's Hotel also plan large-scale refurbishments, and a £145 million redevelopment will see the Trocadero house a 495-bed “pod” hotel.

Westminster City Council, Transport for London and other partners will inject £100 million into improving public spaces and infrastructure.

Sarah Porter, of Heart of London Business Alliance, which represents Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square, said: “There have been lots of elements that have worked towards people thinking it's a good time to be investing in the West End.

“When the private property owners in the area saw that we were investing in the infrastructure, it encouraged them to invest as well.” She said that investment has also helped to attract new retailers, such as Mars which is opening the first M&Ms World outside America next year.

Richard Dickinson, of New West End Company, representing businesses in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, said: “London's West End is the shop window to the world and will be under particular scrutiny during the Olympic Games.

“These multi-million-pound refurbishments will ensure that the world's most famous shopping district looks great when the eyes of the world are on London.”

Robert Davis, Westminster City Council's deputy leader and cabinet member for the built environment, said: “The West End is undergoing a huge transformation which will ensure, come 2012, when the eyes of the world are upon us, it acts as a showcase for the country.”
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...12-olympics.do
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Old November 25th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #2011
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A better render of the proposed Cucumber Tower.

It looks like a 1950s sci-fi rocket-ship that's crashed straight into the ground!



And no, it not a scratch on the Gherkin - the location it's in doesn't help either.
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Old November 26th, 2010, 06:53 PM   #2012
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Red army of buyers keeps UK landlords in the black


Red mist: JLL’s Thomas expects 10% of UK buyers to be Chinese in three years

The Red Flag of China hangs provocatively close to the Bank of England, over the modest entrance to Bank of China at 1 Lothbury. The world's third-largest bank is now settling in at its new 10-storey UK headquarters. No clearer signal of intent to invest in UK property could be given.

The state bank is already funding a £100million hotel at Queen Anne's Chambers, near New Scotland Yard. Funds have been supplied to buy a £32million office block in the City. A declaration of intent to become a residential mortgage lender in the UK has been made and is becoming a little clearer.

Last week Bank of China officials accompanied solicitors from law firm DLA Piper and property agents from Jones Lang LaSalle on a series of presentations in Beijing and Shanghai to Chinese nationals who fancy buying a home in London. JLL head of residential, James Thomas, was on the trip. "The invited audiences were clients of Bank of China, so a pretty select bunch. We told them what is driving the London market. DLA talked through the legal issues and Bank of China indicated how much they could borrow and remit."

There is thought to be a Three Gorges-sized reservoir of Chinese cash pooled behind a dam marked "currency control". On Tuesday evidence of internal pressure came when the Chinese authorities clamped down on property sales in Hong Kong after price rises of 50% in two years.

Seriously rich Chinese buyers have bought in London for years. But most of them made their money manufacturing outside China and therefore can do what they like with their dollars. There is no law preventing Chinese nationals owning property abroad.

This is encouraging a newer group within the country. Factory owners who have been paid in dollars for goods they have exported. They can remit £20,000 a day. The final, and by far the biggest group, are those who have accumulated piles of the Chinese renmimbi. From these two groups come those whose excuse is buying a flat for student offspring. There are plenty of them: Chinese student numbers have increased 10-fold in 10 years to 47,000. Ma and Pa come over and spend, say, half a million on a flat they will keep long after the kids have gone.

Individuals holding renmimbi can turn about £30,000-worth each year into hard currency. Not enough surely? "Yes, it is," says Thomas. "Family members join together to buy. The Bank of China in the UK can give them a mortgage. It does not take long to put together the asking price."

Will the dam burst? "I am not sure about Chinese fiscal policy," admits Thomas. "The laws may one day change. But as things stand we expect the proportion of Chinese buyers in the UK to rise over the next three years from 7.5% to 10%."

That sounds enough to keep the Red Flag flying here.

...
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...n-the-black.do
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Old November 27th, 2010, 02:59 AM   #2013
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40 Portman Square acquired for £181m



ING Real Estate Investment Management on behalf of The Malaysian Employees Provident Fund has exchanged on the long leasehold of an office block at 40 Portman Square, for £181m, a yield of 5.5%.

Owned by European fund manager Aerium, developed by Delancey and funded by Standard Life, 40 Portman Square is a new headquarters development designed by architects Squire and Partners. It provides in excess of 100,000 sq ft of high quality office space just north of Oxford Street and south of Marylebone Village.

As well as providing Grade A office space in central London, the building also comprises 20 flats across the top two floors. The freehold belongs to The Portman Estate. The fully let property has tenants which include US venture capital firm Ziff Brothers Investments and private equity firm BC Partners.

This is the second purchase in a month for the Malaysian fund who exchanged on the 1 Sheldon Square office scheme in Paddington recently. Businesses seeking flexible office space to rent in the West End or serviced offices to let in Central London will find a broad range of properties listed with London’s leading serviced office broker at www.freeofficesearch.co.uk.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...r=November2010
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Old November 28th, 2010, 12:09 AM   #2014
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Indian companies rush to float in London

The growing importance of India to the global economy was underlined today when an energy company became the fifth from the country to float on the London stock market since the summer.

The arrival of Jubilant Energy and four other Indian companies on the Aim stock market for smaller companies is a boost for London as a financial centre at a time when doomsters fear the capital could lose out to rivals in the wake of tighter financial regulation and higher taxes.

Tracey Pierce, a director at Aim's parent company, the London Stock Exchange, said: "This flurry of new Indian admissions by five diverse, ambitious and growing companies highlights the increasingly central role India is playing in the global economy, and how London can provide the capital to match the country's appetite for growth."

Between them the five new Indian admissions have raised an estimated £217m.

Pierce said: "With a long and established relationship with India, our markets are a perfect fit for the country's investment hungry companies. The UK is home to an unparalleled community of internationally-focused advisers who understand the needs of Indian business."

Jubilant Energy is a holding company for a group of firms engaged in oil and gas exploration and production in India. It raised $85m, making it the third largest Aim IPO in 2010.

...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...s-float-london
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Old November 28th, 2010, 12:56 AM   #2015
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AHMM Pen Euston Development

Continuing their recent streak of proposals, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris has designed this new office-led mixed use development to stand on Hampstead Road in the London borough of Camden.



Sitting on a 0.75 hectare site, which is currently in part an old petrol station, stands next to Carrington Street only 500 metres away from Euston Station and the cluster of tall buildings there.

The development includes offices at 132 Hampstead Road of 16,508 square metres and 140 Hampstead Road of 10,493 square metres, 65 square metres of ground floor retail, and 38 new apartments located in a 12-storey residential building.

The office building features a floating upper level, similar in a way to Alsop's Palestra. It also has set backs to break up the mass and reduce the perception of height from the street, with a brick plinth and aluminium cladding on the upper levels.

Giving the landmark feature is a residential tower is located on the northern part of the site. This responds to the triangular nature of the site with similar shaped floorplates. Cutting into its corners are recessed balconies with touches of colour to liven it up, with the top floors having double height recesses to prevent the building just abruptly terminating at its roof level.
http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=2714
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Old November 28th, 2010, 01:09 AM   #2016
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Cooooool, i can clearly see a great future for London
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Old November 29th, 2010, 11:22 PM   #2017
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Alberta House

by chest.













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Old November 30th, 2010, 01:20 AM   #2018
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Renders of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment.

-- Images © Rafael Viñoly Architects --



















Wahou ! C'est superbe ! On dirait les centrales électriques dans "Alerte rouge". Les Anglais ont bien fait de ne pas mettre par terre ce vieux bâtiment industriel. C'est une superbe reconversion. Par exemple, j'aurais bien aimé que l'on gardât quelques fragments de l'usine Renault de Billancourt qui se trouve près de Paris, sur une île de la Seine. Il y a somme toute assez peu de patrimoine industriel un peu massif à Paris.


Wow! It is superb! Looks like the power plants in "Red Alert". The English have done well not to put down this old industrial building. It is a superb conversion. For example, I liked that we should retain some fragments of the Renault factory at Billancourt located near Paris, on an island in the Seine. There are actually quite a few industrial heritage a little solid in Paris.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 06:47 PM   #2019
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It would have been very foolish to demolish it. It's the largest brick building in Europe and its 'upside down' table look is very iconic.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:52 PM   #2020
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I hate the rest of the development, it looks like the Watergate complex.
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