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Old June 1st, 2011, 07:31 PM   #2421
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EEX chooses London as international office

On 1 July 2011, the European Energy Exchange AG ( EEX) will open an office in London's Canary Wharf – its first office outside of Leipzig, Germany. With the new office EEX recognises the increasing importance of the UK market. The step will allow the exchange to provide an even better service to its growing UK customer base. The office will be staffed by an initial team of five employees.

Managing Director Exchange Oliver Maibaum, who will head the UK office, emphasises the importance of the UK market for EEX: “London is the centre of European financial and energy trading. At present 39 of our trading participants – ranging from energy suppliers, financial service providers and brokers – are based in the UK. As part of our ambitious growth plans, we expect the number of clients and the business they trade with us to increase strongly.”

The opening of the UK office is in line with EEX’s plans to expand its position in the power, natural gas, emissions and coal trading markets as well as in the clearing segment. “A permanent presence in London will bring us closer to the market and enable us to establish direct contacts with customers and potential new participants“, adds Oliver Maibaum. The new UK team consists of specialists in the energy and financial sector and will, at first, undergo in-depth training at EEX’s Leipzig headquarters.

The European Energy Exchange (EEX) develops, operates and connects secure, liquid and transparent markets. EEX holds 50 percent of the shares in EPEX Spot SE, which operates the Spot Market for Power for Germany, France, Austria and Switzerland. The German and French Derivatives Market for Power is concentrated within EEX Power Derivatives GmbH, a majority-owned subsidiary of EEX with registered offices in Leipzig. Furthermore, EEX offers spot and derivatives trading in natural gas and CO2 emission allowances as well as trading in financial coal futures. EEX Group also includes European Commodity Clearing AG (ECC), the central clearing house for energy and related products in Europe.
http://www.commodities-now.com/news/...al-office.html
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Old June 1st, 2011, 10:45 PM   #2422
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Some new developments around Canada Water.

by Officer Dibble.

Fairmont House

[IMG]http://i55.************/25upd9c.jpg[/IMG]

Vancouver House

[IMG]http://i53.************/2nlfh2o.jpg[/IMG]

Canada Water Library

[IMG]http://i55.************/2nbzvdk.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i51.************/349bh1f.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i55.************/4hpdv6.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i52.************/2lvl2eu.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://i54.************/2eakzz9.jpg[/IMG]

Toronto House

[IMG]http://i52.************/25ulfeu.jpg[/IMG]
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Old June 1st, 2011, 10:53 PM   #2423
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Overseas buyers aiming for high-end properties

Of all the unexpected consequences of the tragic events in New York a decade ago, surely the least likely has been the increase in prime residential property prices this side of the Atlantic.

Charles Ellingworth, a director of Cadogan Group and founder of the HSBC subsidiary Property Vision, explains: "Wealthy Middle Eastern investors don't feel welcome in America any more, so they have bought the top end of the British market instead. The effect has been quite dramatic. Walk around Sloane Square at night and many of the lights are off. The owners don't live there any more, they just visit for a couple of weeks a year."

He should know. Cadogan Group owns the freeholds of much of Chelsea and Knightsbridge, the estate having been formed 300 years ago when the Second Baronet Cadogan married Elizabeth Sloane, daughter of Sir Hans Sloane, who had bought the Manor of Chelsea in 1712.

More recent factors which add to the attraction of top-end British property for buyers from the Middle East include record oil prices and weak sterling. The latter factor makes all kinds of British assets cheaper for foreign investors, and that has been reflected by stock market takeovers and country home purchases outside London.

But the influx of rich foreign buyers and their influence at street level is most visible in the most expensive parts of our capital. Not just central areas. Thirty years ago, the pubs of Hampstead were filled with would-be intellectuals of modest means who often lived in bedsits nearby. Now, many of these historic hostelries are eerily quiet even at weekends and several have closed.

Oligarchs and oil-rich trustafarians tend not to hang around in pubs, putting the world to rights. Similarly, many of the most expensive residential streets in the capital – such as Bishops Avenue, the so-called "billionaires' row" in Highgate – are also strangely empty. The simple explanation is that if you are rich enough to own a house there, you almost certainly own property elsewhere in the world. And, as Liberace pointed out, no matter how rich you are, you can only sleep in one bed at night.

On a national level, the impact of foreign buyers is creating a two-tier housing market, with prices continuing to rise at the top end but with a downward trend across most other properties. The Halifax house price index shows a 3.7 per cent national decline over the last year – the biggest fall in 18 months – to an average price of £160,400.

Peter Rollings, chief executive of estate agent Marsh & Parsons, comments: "Halifax's figures indicate that the nationwide housing market is in a precarious position, as the ongoing squeeze on mortgage finance takes its toll. In London, the story is very different. This year we've seen some of our busiest months since 2007, and are in the middle of another surge of activity. House prices have already risen 5 per cent this year, and we anticipate further rises as competition for good-quality stock continues to heat up."

Like other estate agents, he says that more than 20 buyers are now registering for every prime London property placed on the market. Wealthy cash buyers and those with a substantial deposit, unaffected by the current mortgage famine, see the capital's bricks and mortar as a sound investment – and rising prices reinforce that trend.

Some factors have nothing to do with macroeconomics or politics and everything to do with happier recent events. Rollings says: "London is set to retain its appeal to international buyers – especially after the spectacular global PR it received from the royal wedding."
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/property/...roperties.html
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Old June 2nd, 2011, 05:45 PM   #2424
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St Modwen secures outline planning for 3,000 homes

Developer St Modwen has secured outline planning on three big housing developments during the last six months. Up to 3,000 homes will be built on three sites including 1,373 homes on a former Mod site at RAF Uxbridge and 1,100 homes on another disused RAF site at Mill Hill in north London.

It also recently secured outline planning for up to 500 homes at Long Marston near Stratford upon Avon. In a trading update, St Modwen said it expected to be granted detailed approval this month for 311 homes at Glan Llyn, Newport, South Wales. The site has outline consent for up to 4,000 homes.

The regeneration specialist said it had also resolved compulsory purchase order issues at Coed Darcy, Neath. South Wales. This delivers an increased outline consent for the development of up to 4,000 homes.

In the partnership with house builder Persimmon, detailed planning applications have been submitted for the development of 212 homes in Sunderland, as well as the 311 homes at Glan Llyn. Four other schemes will be placed through planning shortly, with five sites expected to go to construction this year.

On the commercial property side, Bill Oliver, chief executive of St. Modwen, said: “We have now exchanged contracts for the pre-sale of an 85,000 sq ft Sainsbury’s foodstore at Longbridge, an 85,000 sq ft Tesco’s foodstore at Hednesford, Staffordshire and a Travelodge hotel at Edmonton.

“All three of these developments will commence construction during the second half of this financial year.”
http://www.constructionenquirer.com/...or-3000-homes/
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 01:09 PM   #2425
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New City office scheme approved

Land Securities has today secured planning permission for the development of 375,000 sq ft of office space in the City of London at 30 Old Bailey and 60 Ludgate Hill.

The mixed-use development comprises a two building scheme and will replace the current 1960s properties with high quality office accommodation, new restaurant and retail facilities, improved pedestrian links and new public areas for those working, visiting and living in the area. The scheme is scheduled to complete in late 2013 at a time when there will be relatively few development completions in the City.

Commenting on the scheme Colette O’Shea, Head of Development, London Portfolio, Land Securities, said: “We were the first to re-start a major development programme after the downturn anticipating supply constrained conditions and this is the latest part of our clear plan to deliver over two million sq ft of new space by April 2014.”

The Old Bailey scheme is designed by world renowned German architects Sauerbruch Hutton. It will offer 195,000 sq ft of office space across nine levels with floors averaging 22,600 sq ft and providing uninterrupted views of the City. There will be two open terraces on the 9th floor with views over the Old Bailey and to St Paul’s Cathedral. The offices will have a prominent entrance on Old Bailey with restaurant accommodation fronting the piazzetta at ground floor level.

60 Ludgate Hill, located on one of the City of London’s principal routes has been designed by London-based architects Fletcher Priest. It will offer 152,000 sq ft of prime office space and 25,000 sq ft of retail and restaurants, as well as a new pedestrian thoroughfare. The offices are arranged over 1st to 9th floors and will range from 13,000 sq ft to 22,500 sq ft. The fifth floor will offer a large private outdoor terrace with exclusive views of St Paul’s Cathedral.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...eyear=June2011
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Old June 3rd, 2011, 09:02 PM   #2426
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£500m Wembley City phase two gains planning

Developer Quintain Estates has won outline planning for the £500m Wembley City North West phase. Brent Council has granted consent for the next phase of development located opposite Wembley Arena and bordering the new Brent civic centre.



Wembley City North West neighbourhood will deliver 1,300 new homes, shops and affordable workspace as well as leisure facilities and open spaces.The development’s focal point will be a one-acre publicly accessible square, located behind the civic centre. Currently under construction, the civic centre is set to open in June 2013.

Quintain’s commercial development director, Ben Giddens said: ”Our vision for Wembley City is to create a place where people want to live, shop, work and spend leisure time. This vision is now a step closer to reality. By delivering modern homes and workspaces and bringing brand names back to Brent, people will be drawn to Wembley City – not just on a match day but every day of the week.

Quintain has already completed the development of 520 new homes at Wembley City, the refurbishment of Wembley Arena and the delivery of Arena Square.

Work continues on the new 361 bedroom Hilton Hotel and the 660 bedroom student accommodation, which will open in summer and autumn 2012 respectively. It plans to start construction of the new cinema and the London designer outlet centre later this year.

Wembley City North West

Housing

- Up to 1,300 dwellings
- Mixture of tenure and housing type
- Townhouses / maisonettes where housing is provided at ground and courtyard level
- 7,500 – 25,000 sq m of student, serviced apartments and/or apart-hotels
- 5,000 – 20,000 sq m of hotel space

Retail 17,000 – 30,000 sq m - New retail street, “West Olympic Way”, running parallel to Olympic Way

- Anchor store at the north end of retail street max. 11,000 sq m
- Cafés, restaurants fronting Olympic Way

Leisure – up to 5,000 sq m

- Located on or close to the new retail street
- Complementing leisure offer elsewhere in the Wembley Regeneration Area
- A new community hall providing space for group events such as yoga or badminton
- A multi-games use area (MUGA)
- Allotments for the community to enjoy

Business – up to 25,000 sq m

- Wide ranging employment opportunities, from start up premises to head quarter office buildings. Including affordable workspace for start up businesses and artists studios.

Employment / Community Space 1,500 – 3,000 sq m

- Up to 2,400 sq m of low cost employment space available on flexible rental terms
- New Community Hall, serving the needs of local people

Public Realm

- The Square, a one-acre publicly accessible open space will be located behind the Civic Centre,
- Major improvements to Olympic Way

Parking

- 600 space multi-storey car park for shoppers above anchor store
- 200 commercial spaces under The Square
- Cycle parking – at least one space per resident with visitor cycle parking within public realm to London Plan Standards
http://www.constructionenquirer.com/...ains-planning/
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Old June 4th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #2427
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Prime central London property market set to be frenetic, agents predict

June is predicted to be a frenetic month for prime property in London as interest in both the sales and lettings market from buyers in the Middle East, Russia, France and Italy continues.

The latest report from estate agents W A Ellis shows that average prices per square foot increased by 20% in prime addresses such a Knightsbridge, Belgravia and Chelsea in the last six months.

It reports strong interest in properties with development potential. A property which would have achieved £1,700 per square foot six months ago is now likely to be worth around £2,000 per square foot. Many developers are now basing their projections upon a price point of £3,000 per square foot, it says.

‘The property market in prime central London stalled somewhat during April due to the bank holidays and the Royal Wedding, but during May, we saw the market return to its full strength. We now have double the amount of properties for sale than we had in April, a welcome influx as stock levels were depleting,’ said Richard Barber, partner and head of residential sales.

‘As is customary for the time of year, we have experienced an increasing number of foreign nationals coming to purchase or rent properties in London during May, particularly from Russia, Italy, France and the Middle East. London property appeals to foreign investors because of the continued weakness of Sterling, the expected continuation of capital growth and ever increasing rental yields,’ he explained.

‘Despite the tight lending criteria, the strong market has resulted in an increasing number of investors showing high levels of interest in properties with development potential and the possibility to maximise square footage. Basement excavations continue to be popular, but buyers are increasingly concerned about ceiling heights and natural light,’ he added.

Although high premiums are being achieved for good quality properties, the agents expect poorly presented or secondary properties to languish during the summer months if they are too ambitiously priced. ‘It is important for agents to provide fair and realistic valuations based upon their knowledge of the local market rather than overvaluing simply to gain instructions,’ said Barber.

The outlook is positive. ‘Throughout 2011, it has been obvious that prices in prime central London have risen exponentially in comparison to the rest of the country, and I would expect this growth to continue for the remainder of the year,’ he added.

According to Lucy Morton, senior partner and head of lettings at W A Ellis, rents continue to rise, but there is more movement in the market which is understandable for this time of year. ‘June and July are typically the changeover months for many expats. Stock levels in London have increased marginally since this time last year when they were at an all time low. The sharp rate of increase on renewals has slowed down as the main adjustment in rents occurred during 2009 and 2010 when prices picked up after the credit.
http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/1569...ts-predict.htm
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Old June 4th, 2011, 07:21 PM   #2428
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Hyundai to have name in lights at London's Piccadilly Circus

South Korean car maker Hyundai is to have its name in lights after securing a deal for one of the world's most exclusive advertising hoardings at London's Piccadilly Circus.

Hyundai is to take over one of the five permanent "Piccadilly Lights", London's equivalent of Times Square, from Sanyo. It is the first time since 1994 that one of the advertising boards has changed residents. The car company is believed to have agreed to pay Land Securities, owner of the Piccadilly Circus site, between £1m and £5m a year in rent for less than five years.

Hyundai, which also owns Kia, has been on a marketing drive in Europe – including sponsorship of football's Euro 2012 – after securing a foothold in markets through the continent-wide scrappage schemes implemented in 2009. A change of advertisers at Piccadilly Lights is very rare. Coca-Cola has advertised there since 1955, and the last time a new company acquired a "light" was when Samsung replaced Panasonic 17 years ago.

Sanyo has been at the site since 1984. Hyundai will move into the 1,250 sq ft space in the Autumn. During the summer, Land Securities will convert it from a neon light to LED screen.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...ly-Circus.html
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Old June 4th, 2011, 11:40 PM   #2429
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Stop dreaming of a new Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is the promised land for cash-strapped politicians. Toss a few seeds in the ground and maybe even in a single political term, multi-billion dollar companies can surge up to the heavens. As technology grows cheaper and more powerful, the pace of innovation quickens. Intel and Apple grew quickly, Google much faster, and now Facebook.

Trying to replicate this is an obvious temptation. Many have tried, from cities and states in America to Silicon Fen outside Cambridge and new technology zones in Dubai and Moscow. London now has “Silicon Roundabout”, sandwiched between the City and a revitalised East End, a corner of Shoreditch, which is becoming a magnet for tech companies and investment.

Some in the British government might have been tempted to highlight this on Tuesday as Barack Obama visited London. Both he and David Cameron have shown a proper admiration for the economic fertility of the Santa Clara Valley, which flourished as the financial system crashed. Their administrations are connected through people like Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google. George Osborne, chancellor, recently hired Beth Noveck, the head of Mr Obama’s Open Government Initiative, to do similar work in Britain.

The quest for a Silicon Valley is of course delusional and it sounds like a joke that America offers tech entrepreneurs a slice of California, while Britain gives them a roundabout. But while Shoreditch lacks Palo Alto’s balmy climate, Silicon Roundabout has potential – provided it is allowed to grow on its own terms. Mr Osborne is eager to use technology to increase access to government data and to reduce the cost of paperwork. This should provide abundant entrepreneurial opportunities for tech firms able to crunch the data and manage new government contracts. The government and Boris Johnson, London’s mayor, have encouraged companies such as Facebook and Twitter to expand their London operations.

These are all vital pieces in London’s emerging tech sector. But they will take London nowhere closer to becoming Europe’s answer to Silicon Valley, which is the product of decades of collaboration and investment. Frederick Terman, a professor of engineering at Stanford University credited as the father of Silicon Valley, observed that “for activities involving a high level of scientific and technological creativity, a location in a centre of brains is more important than a location near markets, raw materials, transportation, or factory labour.” He realised there was no use Silicon Valley trying to compete with the east coast. Rather, he developed a strategy of “steeple building”, focusing on technical niches, such as microwave tubes, developing the best research programmes and attracting federal and corporate funding.

In 1939, he backed two star pupils, William Hewlett and David Packard, to start an electronics firm. A flood of federal money later funded the growth of many other companies in that mould, which paired intellectual talent with entrepreneurial moxie and a new, more open managerial style. Venture capital proved the fertiliser on this rich soil. Those who try to replicate Silicon Valley tend to build spaces, offer tax incentives, invest in research universities and hope the rest will follow. It does not. The real lesson is not to waste time dreaming of California. Persuading Facebook or Twitter to set up an office in London will create jobs. It would be far better, though, to nurture a self-generating culture of firms, “steeples” atop London’s already vibrant industries: the Google of finance perhaps, or the Facebook of advertising. Venture capital has a role, but so do Britain’s large corporations, which should be encouraged to help London’s tech start-ups as investors and customers.

The fact that technological innovation is so cheap and accessible means it can be done wherever there are smart people able to do it. The advantage then goes to places where such people wish to live and work. East London does not need Silicon Valley’s institutions. It may even be better off not being so encumbered. All it needs is to be more of what it is already, a venturesome place, open to talent.
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/b197f03c-8...#axzz1OLFYwX8y
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Old June 5th, 2011, 12:50 AM   #2430
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More on the subject

Venture Capitalists Circle London's `Silicon Roundabout' - VIDEO - Bloomberg



and another video from BBC

Is London heading for a dotcom boom?
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Old June 5th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #2431
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These businesses should grow so they need new shiny office buildings.
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Old June 5th, 2011, 08:15 PM   #2432
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New Westminster offices for international wine merchant

International wine merchant, Wine Networks Limited, has signed up for new office space in Westminster, SW1, at 15 Greycoat Place.

The newly established fine wine specialists, with offices in London and Hong Kong, will take the entire first floor of the property comprising 2,865 sq ft of modern air conditioned offices, on a five-year lease at an annual rent of £78,700.

11 Greycoat Place was completely refurbished in 2005 to provide modern open plan offices with a contemporary ground floor reception area. The property is prominently situated at the junction of Greycoat Place and Artillery Row, conveniently located for St James’s Park Underground Station and Victoria Mainline and Underground.

Landlord Central & Metropolitan Estates was advised by Tucker.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...eyear=June2011

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Clerkenwell office scheme welcomes Jamie’s Italian

Workers at award winning office space in Clerkenwell will soon be able to enjoy lunch by Jamie Oliver. Derwent London has announced that Jamie’s Italian has taken a 7,900 sq ft retail unit at the recently completed Angel Building, 407 St. John Street, London EC1.

Jamie’s Italian will occupy the largest retail unit at the building, located on the corner of St. John Street and Pentonville Road, on a 25-year lease with no breaks. Jamie’s Italian aims to serve exceptional food in an environment with a “neighbourhood” feel and is designed to be accessible and affordable. It fits well with the contemporary design of the Angel Building and will assist with the regeneration of the neighbourhood, bringing life and vitality to the streetscape.

With office lettings already completed to Cancer Research UK and NG Bailey, and with a significant amount of space under offer, the occupancy rate at the Angel Building could soon rise to 90%.

Simon Silver, Head of Strategic Regeneration at Derwent London, commented: “We are delighted to welcome such a well-known restaurant to the Angel Building and we believe that Jamie’s Italian will provide an excellent facility to both our tenants and to the local community.” Simon Blagden, Group Managing Director of Jamie Oliver Restaurants, said: “The site on the corner of the Angel Building is perfect for the Jamie’s Italian collection in London and we’re looking forward to making it one of our most beautifully designed restaurants.”

Shelley Sandzer and CB Richard Ellis acted as agents for Derwent London and Graeme Wait represented Jamie Oliver Restaurants.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...eyear=June2011
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Old June 6th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #2433
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New development at Kew Bridge.





http://www.flickr.com/photos/5128275...n/photostream/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/5128275...n/photostream/
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Old June 7th, 2011, 11:10 PM   #2434
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Key London locations see surge in property buyers from Middle East

Demand from Middle Eastern buyers for property in key locations in London such as Marylebone, Regent’s Park, Hyde Park and Bayswater is soaring, according to research data from agents.

The latest Market Insight report from Kay & Co shows that Middle Eastern applicants are up 50% compared to the same time last year, accounting for 30% of all sales applicants in the first three months of 2011. ‘We are seeing the prime markets being boosted by strong overseas demand. As political turbulence intensifies overseas, it is reinforcing once again that residential property in central London is a safe haven for international wealth,’ said Martin Bikhit, Kay & Co managing director.

‘Over the last few months the number of Middle Eastern buyers has significantly increased following the Egyptian crisis and the subsequent wider unrest in the region. We have seen the proportion of Middle Eastern applicants double compared with the same time last year to 30% in the first quarter of 2011,’ he added.

Middle Eastern buyers are predominantly interested in properties with asking prices of over £5 million. Some of these applicants already have smaller properties in the capital and are now looking for a bigger, more permanent residence. 'The properties being sought must be very secure and thus tend to fall into two categories: either a large secure house in a good neighbourhood or a portered building with 24 hour security, both of which are in short supply,’ explained Bikhit.

Overseas demand is also strong from China, India, Europe, particularly Spain, and Australia, with Russian buyers also starting to edge back into the market, the report also says.

‘In addition to rising demand from abroad, domestic demand for residential property in our local market is being fuelled by the good performance of London’s economy relative to the rest of the UK,’ said Bikhit.

‘The London School of Economics reported in January that London had recovered better from the recession compared to other UK regions due to a multitude of factors. The major ones identified being the over-representation of the middle classes, the bail out and consolidation of the banking sector plus the wide and more flexible labour market,’ he explained.

‘Other influences included the presence of non-domiciles. Public sector head count, bankers’ bonuses and regulation were cited as potential threats to the strength of the recovery in the capital,’ he added.
http://www.propertywire.com/news/eur...106075252.html
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Old June 8th, 2011, 02:02 AM   #2435
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30 Old Bailey Approved

Land Securities has secured planning permission for one of the major projects of its development pipeline in the City of London.



The designs for 60 Old Bailey and 30 Ludgate Hill see the demolition of the existing buildings, and new office and shopping space erected in their place with a total of 2,791 square metres of retail and 55,561 square metres of B1 offices between them.

The architects of the scheme are German firm Sauerbruch Hutton, and Britain's Fletcher Priest Architects. Between them they have penned a couple of tightly designed buildings that reach a height of 52.9 metres above sea level, and 42.59 metres above ground level, a level set to make sure they stay under the sightlines that protect St Paul's Cathedral.

The buildings will boast curved sides that respond to the shape of the site, and with curved and cranked facades respectively that relate to the types of elevation they are. The curves intended to be viewed from a short distance along the boundary of the site by passing pedestrians, the cranked facades meanwhile are to be seen from a distance. Marking each level will be a strong sense of horizontality with ledges between each floor.

Beyond the ground floor and combination of transparent or fritted glazing, the buildings façades will take advantage of the solar louvres that line their sides. These are to be fitted to sensors with motors on them tracking the sun as it passes to modulate the interior temperature for occupants without the need for air conditioning. Conversely, in the winter the louvres can adjust to maximise the penetration of natural sunlight and help the building stay warm.

These louvres are intended to also add a jot of colour to the project with the concept of polychromy embraced by the architects and developer. The cranked interior of the buildings will have more neutral shades, whilst on the south side there will be metallic yellows and bronzes.

The end result is something that may not boast the eccentricities of Make's previous demi-donut design for the same site at the peak of the last boom, but is more than capable of adding a splash of colour to what is a rather brown corner of the City of London.
http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=2863
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Old June 8th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #2436
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Regeneration Plans For Elephant and Castle

A key site on the south eastern side of the main roundabout at Elephant and Castle could finally get a high-rise building if a masterplan gets the go-ahead.



Back in 1991 the same site saw a plan proposed by developer UK Land Estates, and designed by Raglan Squire for an 18 floor, 464-room hotel. This secured planning permission from Southwark Council despite objections from the neighbouring National Health Service who occupied Alexander Flemming House, but the project was never realised.

This time round there are two conceptual proposals which take in not only the southern part of the site, but also the entirety of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre, and Hannibal House to the north, a somewhat dilapidated sixties office block.

Common to the proposals are a full rebuild of the shopping centre, with two anchor tenants such as John Lewis although the form of the mall will depend on which of the proposals, if any, is chosen. Both also feature a new tower, but the scale of this is yet to be revealed.

In one there are sweeping curves that roughly follow the historic streetline, whilst the other one steps back. This one second proposal would have direct access to a new tower planned above the shopping centre, whilst the first sees the shopping centre act more as a retail podium.

In both plans Hannibal House appears to be retained and extended, albeit with dramatically different approaches. In the first design it a simpler slab block massed like today, and reclad whilst the other proposal sees it radically altered with voids cut into the building, and an extension erected on the roof.

The masterplans are being worked on by developers St Mowden and Salhia Real Estate in a joint venture. Whether it ever happens is another thing entirely - Elephant and Castle has a great history of proving a graveyard for tall building projects with Strata being the only notable success in the past thirty years.
http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=2862
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Old June 8th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #2437
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Chelsea museum gets the thumbs up

Chelsea Football Club’s new museum, which opened on Monday, has been given the thumbs up by Britain’s premier guide to the country’s sports museums, stadium tours and sporting visitor attractions – sportcloseup.co.uk.

The website describes the museum, which has taken over two years to build, as ‘excellent’ and the ‘first-rate’ attraction that a club with Chelsea’s history and financial resources should have. Visitor numbers are forecast to top 200,000 in year one – significantly up on the old museum, which opened in 2005.

Sportcloseup highlights innovations at the museum, including a new cinema, rotating display of stars’ shirts, and the use of a 19th century special effects technique known as Pepper’s Ghost. This creates the illusion of moving and speaking figures behind glass appearing to be in 3-D. The technique is also used at Wimbledon and Old Trafford, bringing to life John McEnroe and Sir Alex Ferguson; at Chelsea it is Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris and Marcel Desailly.

Chelsea’s museum is also praised for its adidas Shooting Gallery, offering youngsters expert coaching tips on video, a reaction-testing gadget and many more interactive features than the old museum. But the sportcloseup website expresses surprise that there is not more on Chelsea’s many high-profile managers.

sportcloseup.co.uk reviews 50 visitor attractions charting the history of football, cricket, rugby, tennis, golf, racing, motor racing, motorcycling, speedway, badminton, cycling, fencing, rowing, shooting and snooker. And it lists more than 50 sports stadiums, and horse and motor racing facilities that can be toured, as well as the London 2012 Olympic Park.

- Continued - The website provides reviews, essential facts for visitors, maps, links, photographs, travel and weather information, plus icons rating attractions for their value-for-money and appeal to younger visitors. A Twitter feed and e-newsletter provide an easy way to stay in touch with the latest on the UK’s many sporting visitor attractions.

Apart from museums and tours, there is also coverage of places that played a big part in the development of sport, like Much Wenlock in Shropshire, one of the inspirations for the modern Olympics, and the Oxford track where the first sub-Four Minute Mile was run in 1954.

Sportcloseup’s editor, John Evans, said: “The sportcloseup website, for the first time online or in print, lists all our visitor attractions that celebrate sport, provides impartial reviews and helps fans of sport and our history to plan visits. It will tap into – and hopefully fuel - unprecedented interest in Britain’s role in creating sport as we know it today and the stadiums where it is played in the 21st Century.

“This is going to be an extraordinary decade of sport in the UK, the country where so many of the world’s top sports were invented, had their first rules written down, or were popularised. It’s great that Chelsea have invested in a new and exciting museum in time for London 2012 and to cope with increased fascination in our sporting heritage.”
http://www.wimbledonguardian.co.uk/s...the_thumbs_up/
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Old June 9th, 2011, 04:14 AM   #2438
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Broadgate Planning Restrictions May Add to Lack of New Offices in London

Plans by the owners of Broadgate Square, the City of London’s largest office complex, to knock down two buildings to create a new U.K. headquarters for UBS AG (UBSN) may be derailed by historical preservation efforts, worsening a shortage of new space in the capital’s main financial district.

English Heritage, a state-funded conservation group, recommended on June 3 that Broadgate should be given the second- highest level of protection from demolition. The government will decide whether to accept the advice within five weeks, a spokeswoman for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said yesterday. British Land Co. and Blackstone Group LP (BX) each own 50 percent of Broadgate.

Giving the complex a Grade 2 listing would “raise the question of where to locate 7,000 permanent banking jobs and put at risk more than 5,000 construction jobs,” British Land said in response to English Heritage’s recommendation. UBS declined to comment.

The proposal to redevelop part of Broadgate, at a cost of 850 million pounds ($1.4 billion), for Switzerland’s biggest bank was approved by city planners in April. A new building at 5 Broadgate would have about 700,000 square feet (65,000 square meters) of space, making it British Land’s biggest project.

Revived Projects
U.K. developers have revived office projects in central London in the past year, after putting them on hold as demand and funding evaporated in 2008, to take advantage of rising rents. Even so, the amount of new office space completed in the City of London next year may be the lowest on record, Drivers Jonas Deloitte said May 3.

British Land, the U.K.’s second-largest real estate investment trust, may make a development profit of as much as 90 million pounds from the project, according to Harm Meijer, an analyst at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in London. The property company declined to comment on the estimate.

“The development is a very important part of the company’s portfolio,” said John Cahill, an analyst at Evolution Securities Ltd. in London with a “neutral” rating on the stock.

Broadgate was built next to Liverpool Street Station in the mid-1980s and includes office buildings, stores, restaurants and an ice-skating rink. About 30,000 people work in the complex’s 4.4 million square feet (408,773 square meters) of space for companies including UBS, the largest tenant, and Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc, according to the REIT’s website.

‘Particularly Important’
A listed building cannot be demolished, extended or altered without government planning guidance, according to English Heritage’s website. Grade 2 properties, defined by the organization as “particularly important buildings of more than special interest,” make up 5.5 percent of all listed structures.

British Land gets annual rental income of 86 million pounds from Broadgate, according to the company’s last annual results. That’s about 16 percent of the total.

Broadgate Square is “one of the most important and successful developments of its period and type, possessing special architectural and historic interest,” English Heritage said last week.

“As a message to the international business community, it’s not a very positive one,” City of London spokesman James Abbott said by telephone. “On the one hand we’re saying Britain is open for business and at the same time we’re saying that we can’t meet your business needs.”
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...in-london.html
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Old June 9th, 2011, 09:16 PM   #2439
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Outer London offices in Chiswick secured by Ferrovial

Ferrovial, which describes itself as one of the world's leading transport infrastructure firms, has secured new outer London offices. The organisation has a global presence, trading in countries including the UK, US, Russia, China and the North African continent.

It has chosen the borough of Hounslow as a new business location and has agreed a deal for outer London offices in Chiswick Tower, Savills reported. Other organisations trading in the block include Konami and BSI Systems. A five-year lease was secured at an annual rent of £28 per sq ft for 5,000 sq ft of space. Chiswick Tower is located above Gunnersbury Railway Station and comprises of 17 floors consisting of 140,000 sq ft of offices.

Ferrovial will have convenient access to the A315 Chiswick High Road and the A4, meaning travelling into the centre of London should prove quick and easy when client meetings and other events need to be attended.
http://www.mellersh.co.uk/News/Outer...800571048.aspx
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Old June 11th, 2011, 02:53 AM   #2440
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London, UK: new luxury hotel openings

As London counts down to the 2012 Olympics, a flurry of new luxury hotels have thrown open their doors, offering visitors everything from vintage cocktails to rooftop spas and sightseeing trips by helicopter.

Here are six of the most eye catching, spread across the capital from Clerkenwell to Kew. Rates are for a double room in June, including VAT.

Corinthia Hotel London

London is full of magnificent buildings we never notice – until someone hangs a "Hotel" sign over the front door. Such is the case with what was once the monumental Hôtel Métropole, which opened in 1885 near Charing Cross station but was requisitioned by the Ministry of Defence for much of the last century. With its belle époque turrets and huge-pillared halls, it must have made a splendid office space.

Now, this seven-storey pile in Whitehall has been returned to its former life as a grand 294-room hotel. Opened at the end of April, with seven sumptuous suites and an ESPA Life spa to follow this summer, its inviting mix of the classic and the contemporary is heralded by a 1,001-crystal Baccarat chandelier exploding above the lobby.

One masterly touch is the hotel's use of British artists, including graceful prints by Marcus James and metalwork commissioned from the talented Greenwich studio, Based Upon. Another is getting David Collins Studio, the style gurus behind many of London's top hotel bars and restaurants, to design the appropriately elegant Bassoon Bar and the banking hall-like Massimo restaurant – a more challenging space, where Roman chef Massimo Riccioli presides over a Mediterranean menu majoring on fish and seafood.

The rooms are warm and welcoming with restful beige and olive tones, and dreamy Hypnos beds. Guests can also enjoy a Daniel Galvin hair salon and Harrods' first shop set inside a hotel.

With an excellent location and resolutely high standards, the Corinthia is good news for fans of smart London hotels – although its prices are so high it seems likely that only MPs on pre-scandal expenses will be able to afford it. Order two cocktails and some water at Bassoon and you won't see much change from a £50 note.

W London Leicester Square

"Getting ready for 2012" scream the shiny black hoardings currently boxing in Leicester Square as Westminster City Council gives Britain's "home of cinema" a much-needed revamp. At its north-west corner, what used to be the Swiss Centre is now the mighty, newbuild, artily white-dotted, 192-room W Hotel, already making a powerful bid to be the leading light of the West End entertainment scene after its opening in February.

Part of an immensely successful international brand created by Starwood Hotels & Resorts (New York has four W hotels), this one is unashamedly devoted to rock 'n' roll values with its galaxies of mirror-balls, guest list-only Wyld Bar, showbiz-friendly screening room and a hangover-curing spa.

The theming is fearless – staff are known as "talent", fashion-savvy "happenings" take place monthly, while the standard rooms – categorised as "Wonderful" and reached via dungeon-dark corridors – are a cheap and cheerful studio-style mix of washroom, workspace and ready-to-romp bed.

What's not to like? Well, don't waste your money in the companion Spice Market restaurant created by multi-Michelin-starred Jean-Georges Vongerichten, which has too many things wrong to list here, and only check in if you intend to party. The mood in the Lounge bar can be great, with most guests young, happy, on expenses and wearing black.

Outside, the nights are noisy, with party crowds sloshing about and buskers playing jazz until 3am – then the builders' drills start at 8am. But for most guests, sleep is the last thing on the agenda – and that's just how Leicester Square should be.

Four Seasons Hotel London at Park Lane

As befits a top address on the Monopoly board, Park Lane is home to a clutch of well-established luxury hotels that now includes a born-again Four Seasons.

Opened in January after a top-to-toe makeover that took more than two years, the hotel that was once the Inn on the Park in Hamilton Place is today a smart and glossy residence with 192 rooms, of which 45 are one, two or three-bedroom suites. Close to Hyde Park Corner and the dandyish streets of Mayfair, the hotel manages to feel excitingly wired to London life while also offering a homely sanctuary.

Interiors are designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, a Four Seasons favourite, who has created colourful bar-lounge areas but kept the bedrooms calm and grown-up with elegant walnut and sycamore wood-panelling. I don't normally get excited about hotel corridors, but here they are adorned with oversized black-and-white fashion photographs from Vogue magazine that are so eye-catching they may well delay your progress up to the 10th-floor rooftop spa and gym (both of which offer uplifting views), or down to the assured Italian restaurant, Amaranto.

Connoisseurs of the Martini experience will enjoy the companion bar, where manager Davide Guide has a created a tremendous signature cocktail, the Amarantini, that is well worth the journey.

Hotel Verta

There's an engaging, James Bond feel to this glassy, five-storey riverfront hotel set beside Battersea heliport. Opened last September, Hotel Verta calls itself "London's Vertical Gateway", and it is certainly very entertaining to sit in its airy Patrisey restaurant enjoying a faultless breakfast while the rich and powerful come choppering into town from their country seats.

Quadruple glazing ensures there are no sound issues, and the 70 bedrooms are quietly sexy with blissful beds, cosy bathrobes and a television in the bathroom wall. The food is excellent and there's a small, top-class spa, but perhaps the best thing is Hotel Verta's unforced sense of fun. Taking a cue from the golden age of luxury travel, the smartly uniformed female staff have the glamour of air stewardesses with their bright red shoes, nails and lips, while the plush Vertilon Bar offers a "Jet Fuel" menu. And when you retire to bed, there's a little turndown treat on your pillow labelled "Chocs Away"…

The only fly on the windscreen is the less-than-central location. Set on the south bank of the Thames midway between Battersea and Wandsworth Bridges, Hotel Verta will suit guests who like to drive (there is valet parking) or who don't mind the ten-minute walk to Clapham Junction station.

There are attractive packages if you're up for the Chelsea or Hampton Court Flower Shows, or for a special occasion book a half-hour scenic helicopter flight over London, from £2,400 for four passengers.

Zetter Townhouse

Venerable and village-like, Clerkenwell is one of London's most enjoyable neighbourhoods – and there are clear signs that it is now getting its groove back after a punishing recession.

In the same week in April that this refreshingly individual 13-room boutique hotel opened, the creators of the Hotel du Vin group also launched their first stand-alone Bistro du Vin restaurant close by. Formed from two Georgian buildings that once housed solicitors' offices, Zetter Townhouse lies just across the cobbles of St John's Square from the much larger Zetter Hotel, a well-established designer bolt-hole that offers key support services such as a full breakfast and fine dining at Bistrot Bruno Loubet.

Here the style is very different, with the lounge, bar and dining room dressed theatrically in a jumble of Victoriana that includes a stuffed kangaroo, armchairs upholstered with sacking, and walls crammed with oil paintings, curios and old photos.

There is no reception – just a laptop on a dresser – and a star attraction is a bar overseen by master mixologist Tony Conigliaro, who has been aptly described as "the Heston Blumenthal of cocktails". Like that chef, he gets equally excited by both the experimental and the traditional: tipples bear names like Somerset Sour, Twinkle and The Flintlock, while bar snacks range from sardines on toast to a terrific broad bean and lovage pesto risotto.

Go up the stairs – which are papered with high-class collages assembled from old magazines and newspapers – and you'll find rooms that come with all the things we humble guests cry out for – free Wi-Fi and water, lights and taps you can work, and a kettle. Neat touches include vintage radios converted into iPod docks and dressing gowns bearing a logo of a black pipe from which "Zzzzz" smoke rises.

Unusually, the smallest and least expensive rooms on the top floor are perhaps the best, decorated with joyful woodwork salvaged from a circus carousel. With rates dropping from Friday to Sunday, these are a smart choice for a weekend break.

London Syon Park

Much loved for its gorgeous run of five rooms designed by Robert Adam in the 1760s, Syon House is an engrossing, privately-owned stately home set on the banks of the Thames opposite Kew Gardens. Given that it is bordered by a splendid domed Great Conservatory from 1826, and enchanting gardens landscaped by Capability Brown, it would seem reasonable to expect that the opening of a new five-star hotel in the grounds of Syon Park last March would offer us some kind of a delightful Arcadian retreat just seven miles from the hectic whirl of central London.

Sadly, something went very wrong at the planning stage, and the design of this 137-room, newbuild hotel seems almost criminally inappropriate. Arranged in motel-like rows, its steep-roofed brick buildings look cheap while the low-ceilinged bedrooms are furnished in a hard, urban style of black and silver that includes astonishingly naff notes such as bedside lamps sporting a twee budgerigar. My room came with a telescope, presumably all the better for viewing the huge car park outside – or perhaps the bright-red rubbish skips of the adjacent garden centre?

All this is a great shame given that London Syon Park is part of Hilton's top-end Waldorf Astoria collection and that many aspects of the hotel are very enjoyable. The staff are exceedingly well-drilled, the subterranean Kallima Spa is a cosseting space run with enthusiasm, while the chic, smartly furnished The Capability restaurant is masterminded by Lee Stretton, formerly of Brown's Hotel. He smokes his own salmon and uses produce from the estate's orchard and herb and vegetable gardens to create an enticing British menu, only marred by its overpricing. How can a bowl of fish curry, however good, cost more than £24?

Too eager to cater for weddings, car launches and Americans catching an early flight from nearby Heathrow, this is a hotel that needs to remember where it is.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/ho...-openings.html
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