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Old June 11th, 2011, 06:21 AM   #2441
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Quote:
Foreigners to Spend $6 Billion on Top London Homes in 2011 on Haven Appeal

Overseas spending on London luxury homes will total 3.7 billion pounds ($6 billion) this year as a weak pound and the city’s reputation as a financial haven attract buyers, Savills Plc (SVS) said.

Buyers based outside the UK will probably spend 16.5 billion pounds in the five years through 2011, or 26 percent of the total, the London-based broker estimated. “London is a funnel for international wealth and equity coming into the UK,” Yolande Barnes, Savills’s head of residential research, said at a presentation today.

The pound’s 18 percent slide against a basket of currencies since the end of 2007 has attracted overseas buyers to residential properties worth at least 1 million pounds in the British capital. The perception of London real estate as a secure asset has persuaded overseas investors to buy in the city when faced by financial and political instability in their home markets, Savills said.

The largest group of foreign buyers is from western Europe, while the biggest individual purchases were made by investors from Eastern Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union countries. The average purchase price from that group was 6.2 million pounds, Savills said. Ukraine’s wealthiest individual, Rinat Akhmetov, paid 136.6 million pounds for a penthouse at One Hyde Park, the Financial Times reported, citing title deeds documents filed in April with the Land Registry.

The inflow of overseas money has led British owners in the prime central London market to sell more properties than they buy, investing most of the proceeds in southwest London neighborhoods such as Fulham and Wandsworth, Barnes said.
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-0...en-appeal.html
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Old June 11th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #2442
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I hope they make this uni in the top 1000 so some people like me wont need to go to another country to study. And they better put different courses on, that will stop even more people from going to another country.
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Old June 11th, 2011, 04:00 PM   #2443
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JP Morgan begins hunt for London HQ tenants

JP Morgan has begun looking for new tenants to occupy its existing City of London headquarters as it prepares its relocation to the former Lehman Brothers building in Canary Wharf.

The U.S. investment bank has instructed two property consultants DTZ and Cushman & Wakefield to sublet over 700,000 sq ft of office space at its City of London offices in Alban Gate and Aldermanbury Square.

The bank is scheduled to relocate from the two locations to 25 Bank St. in Canary Wharf by next year, after agreeing to pay the Canary Wharf Group GBP495 million for the 1 million sq ft former Lehman building, and plans to use it as its European investment bank headquarters from 2012. The move will occur at some point in first quarter of that year, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

The decision to move to Bank Street came after JP Morgan had signed a previous deal with CWG, paying GBP237.9 million in November 2008 for land at Riverside South, a new site in the Docklands estate, where it had envisaged building a GBP1.5 billion project to build 1.9 million sq ft of office space across two towers.

JP Morgan still owns the Riverside South land--and has instructed CWG to continue building to street level--but has extended the development contract from 2013 to 2016.

DTZ, which advised JP Morgan on its relocation to Canary Wharf, declined to comment on the appointment. JP Morgan confirmed the appointments, but declined to comment further. The space will test the appetite of financial occupiers--the most likely type of tenant for the space due to its large scale. According to research released today by Cushman & Wakefield, financial institutions' appetite for European office space across is recovering strongly from its post-crisis nadir.

Take up of office space by banks across Europe between April 2010 and March 2011 was 20% above the five year average, according to the firm, with 1 million sq m (10.7 million sq ft) let--more than double the figure for 2009 and 2010. Of these, London was the most active market in Europe--with nearly 300,000 sq m of take-up, amounting to 27% of the total.

The last quarter of 2010 was particularly strong for London, with major deals sealed for French bank BNP Paribas' (BNP.FR) new headquarters at King's Cross and JP Morgan's confirmation of its own Canary Wharf move.

One potential tenant for the Alban Gate space is Schroders, according to commercial property trade publication, Estates Gazette, which said the U.K. asset management firm had been expressing an interest in relocating from its current Gresham Street home to Alban Gate.

It reported that Schroders is looking for more than 170,000 sq ft for a new headquarters - having previously eyed a potential move to a new skyscraper on Bishopsgate called The Pinnacle, which is also known as The Helter Skelter.

A spokeswoman at Schroders said that it "has no active requirement at present." However, she confirmed that it had appointed agent Knight Frank "to undertake a preliminary assessment of the City market as part of our longer-term planning process and identification of potential future options."
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jp-...nts-2011-06-10
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Old June 11th, 2011, 04:33 PM   #2444
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Cuba Street - Canary Wharf

Quote:
Originally Posted by gegloma01 View Post
Planning application has been submitted, at last. The developper is Ağaoğlu, a Turkish billionnaire, building residential towers in Turkey, and other large-scale projects.

The man behind the project.



New design and reduced height in response to LBTH from 172m to 157.20
AOD to roof level, 160.20 AOD to the top of the façade screen, Tower A is 124.30 AOD to roof level).

"The development proposes the comprehensive redevelopment of the site to provide
a residential led, mixed use scheme of two towers of ground plus 38 storeys (Tower A)
and ground plus 50 storeys (Tower B) along with two levels of basement. The proposal
comprises (all non-residential uses stated as GIAs): 439 residential units (Use Class C3),
168 bedroom hotel with associated health and leisure facilities (C1), 554 sqm retail
(A1-A5), 488 sqm offices (B1), 980 community floorspace (D1) as well as basement car
and cycle parking, servicing, storage and space for an onsite energy centre.

Some pics.

image hosted on flickr


[img]http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5277/5819130756_8a8d0482a7_o.jpg[img]

image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr


image hosted on flickr
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Old June 12th, 2011, 12:35 AM   #2445
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by csk.

Croydon Council Hub








The new Hilton hotel



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Old June 12th, 2011, 12:42 AM   #2446
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Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
Cuba Street - Canary Wharf

WOW! The design of this complex is stunning. Great addition for the area
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Old June 12th, 2011, 05:56 AM   #2447
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Let's just hope it gets planning permission. CW would get a fresh face.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 06:27 PM   #2448
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They're interesting and well designed, if these, Baltimore Wharf Tower and Columbus were built the Wharf would receive a real architectural boost.
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Old June 12th, 2011, 06:28 PM   #2449
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Quote:
London’s Silicon Roundabout from a New York state of mind

We may live in a globally connected world, where we’re just an email, Skype call or Follow away from a brilliant introduction. But it’s tricky going to bed at midnight in London when Silicon Valley is still in the office and happy hour in New York is just getting started. I arrived in London one week ago, energetically high from a spring spent celebrating an epic technological movement in New York City, but insatiably curious to discover what our friends across the pond are up to in London.

As you may know, there are about 100 tech startups in East London, particularly in the Shoreditch area peppered along Old Street in a location lovingly referred to as “Silicon Roundabout,” the city’s twee answer to Silicon Valley. With Government investment now planned for the area and exciting plans for The Tech City that will stretch from the area to neighboring Stratford, hub of the 2012 Olympic Games, London’s tech scene is nascent, wondrous and explorative.

...
http://thenextweb.com/uk/2011/06/12/...state-of-mind/
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Old June 12th, 2011, 06:54 PM   #2450
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Rich Indians flocking to buy houses in London

Many rich Indians are among foreigners investing over 3 billion pounds every year in London's prime real estate market as the metropolis continues to attract the world's super-rich, latest industry figures show.

Several estate agents have highlighted the fact of rich Indians flocking to buy property in London, thanks to a booming economy, favourable foreign exchange rates and increasing numbers of children of rich Indians studying here. Property in most areas in Britain have fallen substantially in the last three years, but foreign capital continues to buoy real estate prices in London.

Latest research by estate agent Savills says, "There are more buyers coming from India and Pakistan than China - and they're spending more. It is this group that Savills identifies as most important to the London market among the emerging economies". The research, titled 'World in London', analyses international buyer activity in the prime London market since 2007, and estimates that a total of 16.5 billion pounds will have been invested over the five-year period by the end of this year (2011).

This cash injection means that prime London values now move more in line with other global real estate, commodities and investment markets than domestic UK housing markets, it says.

According to the research, buyers from the Indian sub-continent continue to be an under-reported and important force within the market, constituting nine per cent of all buyers in the five million pounds to 15 million pounds price band, with a quarter of all Savills buyers from this region spending in excess of five million pounds.

Yolande Barnes , head of Savills research , said, "We think the already established preference of buyers from the Asian subcontinent for London will mean that Indians will be among the most important buyers from the emerging countries in the future". Barnes added, "We anticipate that London will continue to attract overseas buyers in the foreseeable future, especially with the eyes of the world on the London Olympics next year.

The diversity of economies from which these buyers originate and of their motivations for purchase, mean that there will nearly always be an overseas market for London property for as long as London remains a major global city". In 2010, rich Indians bought residential property worth 290 million pounds in the city's prestigious areas of Mayfair, Belgravia, South Kensington, Chelsea and Holland Park.

Indians show a preference for properties in areas such as Mayfair, Belgravia, Regent's Park, St John's Wood. The properties are reported to be second or third homes for a rising number of wealthy Indians. The average property in this segment is a four-bedroom house, with a room for domestic help, used as a second home by rich Indians or their children studying in the city.

London is considered to be particularly attractive to the global super-rich because of its accessibility, stability, and the global standing of its financial institutions. It is seen as a magnet to the world's billionaires.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/...ow/8823934.cms
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Old June 12th, 2011, 09:51 PM   #2451
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Barracks’ sale tests London property market

The centuries-old St John’s Wood Barracks will be put on the block next week, in one of the largest sales of a prime central London property since a Qatari-backed consortium bought Chelsea Barracks four years ago.

The sale will test the strength of the prime property market, which has suffered recently from a lack of financing for big developments. Prime London house prices have nonetheless climbed 33 per cent since March 2009, against a 7 per cent rise in the wider national market.

The St John’s Wood site has been occupied as a barracks since 1804, most recently by the King’s Troop, Royal Horse Artillery, which will move to a new location in Woolwich. The land originally formed part of a farm purchased in 1750 by the current owners, the Eyre Estate. The estate, a private family trust, has asked for offers of more than £225m, although Knight Frank, the agent handling the sale, expects the bidding to exceed £250m.

The barracks site has planning permission for 117 new homes that could have a total sale value of more than £1bn. The 5.5 acre (2.2 hectare) site is located in exclusive St John’s Wood near Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. St John’s Wood is one of London’s so-called “golden postcodes”. “This is as prime a site as you can get and will be the biggest sale for this type of property since the Chelsea Barracks,” said Ian Marris, head of land at Knight Frank. Chelsea Barracks sold for £1bn in 2007.

Planning permission has been granted for 12 apartment blocks, eight semi-detached villas and seven terraced town houses, to provide a mixture of private and affordable homes. The proposal includes the refurbishment of 16 flats in Queen’s Terrace. The site’s Grade II-listed riding school building must be preserved, but can be converted into a private leisure centre. The largest semi-detached villa to be built will reach close to 10,000 sq ft.

“There is huge demand for the large houses that we have on the site, particularly from the international market,” said Ted Johnson of the Eyre Estate. The key question is how to finance the scheme, and we expect to see overseas sovereign wealth, private equity and institutional money all competing.”
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/eee0c...#axzz1P5ae1EC7
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Old June 13th, 2011, 12:19 PM   #2452
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Unison Tower - Euston Road

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Old June 13th, 2011, 07:09 PM   #2453
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Sky plans new West London offices

Broadcasting giant BSkyB is said to be close to signing the biggest office space deal in West London since the beginning of the economic crisis.

Advanced discussions are thought to be taking place to agree heads of terms on 162,413 sq ft of office space in Park Royal, NW10, at the FC200 building in the First Central Business Park.

A joint venture between developer London Regional and landowner Diageo, First Central is the focus for commercial regeneration of the Park Royal area to provide new offices, retail facilities and a hotel within a landscaped campus. BSkyB will share the park with Diageo which occupies a separate 150,000 sq ft headquarters building.

BSkyB will pay around £20 per sq ft on a 10-year lease with a five-year break option which is thought to be a key factor in the deal, giving the broadcaster the option to exercise the break if necessary to move to Sky’s expanding office campus in Osterley. It is believed that Sky will vacate existing office space in Brentford at Horizons West where it is subleasing space from GlaxoSmithKline.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...eyear=June2011
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Old June 13th, 2011, 10:24 PM   #2454
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London's economy still leaping ahead

The "London factor" was back in evidence last month as the capital enjoyed its fastest growth since January and West End retailers continued to buck the negative nationwide trend, surveys showed today.

The capital's more resilient economy, dubbed the London factor by local brewer Fuller's last week, is pulling away from recession more quickly than the rest of the UK and enjoyed a fourth successive month of job creation, according to the latest Markit/Lloyds TSB activity index.

The index, which measures the combined output of services and manufacturing firms over the month, rose from 53.7 to 54 in May. This signals a faster pace of expansion as a score over 50 signals growth.

Businesses are also taking on extra staff to handle an influx of new orders, with the services sector accounting for the bulk of the jobs growth.

Meanwhile, the New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, saw retail sales up 1.4% in May compared with the previous year. Shopper numbers were up 3.8% against a year ago, beating a nationwide decline of 1.5%.

Soaring temperatures on the bank holiday weekends provided a boost. Beverley Aspinall, managing director of Fortnum & Mason, said picnic sales had been especially strong.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...aping-ahead.do
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Old June 14th, 2011, 06:05 PM   #2455
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This why London desperately needs to build more homes.

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The great haul of China: Far East investors rush to buy London homes

Wealthy investors are snapping up huge numbers of London homes in "buy a property" cocktail parties in Hong Kong and China.

A weak pound and soaring domestic prices have made the London property market so attractive to Asian buyers that more than half the homes in some Docklands developments are being bought by them. Developers are mounting marketing campaigns and Far Eastern investors are jetting into London and the Home Counties to view schemes.

Peter To, of estate agent City Quays, said: "We are seeing an unprecedented stampede by buyers from the Far East, especially mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, snapping up top end apartments in and around Docklands. And the investment from China so far is only the tip of the iceberg. It can only keep on growing as investors get to understand our market and mortgages more."

One advert for an exhibition at the five-star Landmark Mandarin hotel in Hong Kong organised by Berkeley invited investors to buy apartments in "one of London's most desirable locations" at the Kidbrooke Village development in Blackheath. The scheme is not due to complete until autumn 2013 with prices starting at £229,950 for one-bedroom flats.

Weston Homes recently sold 31 properties worth £11million at its King's Island development in Uxbridge after weekend exhibitions in Hong Kong and Macau.

Last week, a group of Chinese investors made a trip to view Pan Peninsula in Canary Wharf, Europe's tallest residential tower. Most of their purchases are in the £400,000 to £1million price bracket, according to agents Knight Frank. Mayfair-based firm Celestial Globe specialises in finding Chinese investors for London developments. Consultant Siqi Zhang was showing the group around Pan Peninsula last week.

She said: "In mainland China, the authorities have restricted property speculators to dampen the market. And in Hong Kong, prices have risen by 70 per cent in under two years. London now offers much better value than Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. For a normal £400,000 investment you can buy a freehold property in London. But in Beijing you can't even get a central apartment." Research by Knight Frank suggests six in 10 newly-built homes in central London in the past six months were sold to Asian buyers.

Hong Kong investors were the largest group at 24 per cent, followed by Singaporeans at 12 per cent and mainland Chinese taking 10 per cent.

Knight Frank is transferring Seb Warner, its London residential development partner, to Hong Kong, where he will head the Asia region. Neil Batty, head of Knight Frank international project management, said: "We are rapidly expanding into mainland China."
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...ondon-homes.do
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Old June 14th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #2456
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Quintain reveals Greenwich construction work plans

Property firm Quintain Estates and Developments has unveiled plans for new homes in south-east London, which are likely to deliver new construction jobs in the area as well.

Quintain announced in its results for the year to the end of March 2011 that it had entered an agreement with Lend Lease for the two firms to undertake construction work on 1,000 homes in the Greenwich Peninsula between them.

Furthermore, Quintain stated that it would also then be able to proceed with developing its two sites at Peninsula Quays - where it has permission to build 1,000 homes - starting with the proposed delivery of 600 new homes as of next year.

Chief executive Adrian Wyatt commented: "It is with confidence that I view the prospects for the business...we are now much closer to realising the value in our London development schemes."

Earlier this month, Brent council approved the second phase of Quintain's Wembley City development in north-west London, which would involve creating 1,300 new homes and up to 55,000 square feet of retail and business space, as well as 370 new jobs in construction.
http://news.careerstructure.com/arti...on-work-plans/
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Old June 14th, 2011, 07:02 PM   #2457
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The English Heritage/UBS headquarters saga.

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The City is a place for people, not a museum

The houses in my neighbourhood are mainly more than 100 years old; in many ways they are typical of the turn-of-the-century garden maisonettes built by socially aware factory owners in north London.

It would, nonetheless, be a shock should anyone suggest they be given listed building status, to stop a neighbour from converting a loft into a nursery, for example. And therein lies the difficulty in preserving our heritage, where the desire to protect the outstanding or the unique is often in conflict with the wishes of the owners or the occupiers, whose needs change with changing circumstances.

A particularly contentious case has arisen with the recommendation by English Heritage for a Grade II* listing for parts of Broadgate, the City office campus owned by British Land and Blackstone, which threatens plans by UBS for an £850m ($1.39bn) headquarters on the site. To build this, the developers would need to knock down two existing buildings.

There is something wonderful about being able to walk round a modern financial centre such as the Square Mile imagining its past as a very different sort of market, where names such as Bread Street, Poultry and Honey Lane reflected the commodities sold.

This is what sets the City apart in many workers’ minds from Canary Wharf, Frankfurt, Tokyo or New York, even if their buildings can be better and bigger.

Broadgate itself has played a key part in the recent history of the City, as an innovative business district with offices with large, flexible floor areas, as well as open spaces and restaurants. It is also symbolic of the City’s growth post financial deregulation, but this should not mean that it must never be allowed to change. The City is a place to work, and should reflect the needs of its population.

There may be other sites suitable for UBS to build on, but most would involve additional cost, compromise and delay. The buildings to be demolished could be refurbished, but the Swiss bank wants a new, modern headquarters. This means large trading floors, of course, but also gyms and restaurants, and an aspirational image.

Should the development be stopped, jobs in construction would be under threat, and UBS might even have to move more bankers away from London. It does not want to move to Canary Wharf, but neither did JPMorgan until it failed to secure a suitable site in the City.

In seeking listed status for Broadgate, English Heritage wants to preserve the place as much as the buildings, but people make the place, not the concrete, and it seems foolish to risk forcing those people out. British Land has insisted that there are no plans to alter the public areas, and anyway such changes would need planning permission, which is where the decisions on Broadgate should have started and stopped. The City of London Corporation has made clear its determination to retain the open spaces that it describes as “the cornerstone of [the site’s] long-standing appeal”.

It does not help that the proposed new building is not particularly attractive, resembling a giant aluminium cube, but then neither are the existing ones, and more sensitive minds at the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the government’s watchdog, have not objected. Indeed, aesthetics are of secondary importance to what a City building does in creating a factory floor for the financial sector.

If Broadgate can be listed, why not buildings in Canary Wharf? Very few would want that, least of all the landlords, who know that the needs of occupiers always come first. The decision is with the culture secretary, who should not delay. Protecting the City’s past is important, but not at the expense of the future.

There’s life beyond London

Argent, the developer, is in advanced talks with the German bank Eurohypo to fund the first phases at its King’s Cross office scheme in central London.

If it goes ahead, the deal will be one of the first instances of speculative debt development funding since the credit crisis. It comes as Development Securities is close to agreeing a forward funding deal on a similar office scheme in Hammersmith. Funding for such schemes without tenants would have been almost impossible a year ago. Indeed, Argent had been talking to equity partners in the expectation that debt would be difficult.

Such deals demonstrate that the funding market for commercial property is becoming less constrained – great news for the vast King’s Cross development. But they also show that most debt is still going to support the already buoyant London market.

Lending patterns so heavily skewed to the south-east will make the contrast with stagnant parts of the UK property market more pronounced. Banks need to follow their investors, who are finding that the biggest opportunities are outside London. This is reflected in the talk investors use to identify property, which is slowly shifting from terms such as “secondary” to the more benign “value add”. Yes, they are talking about the same types of property, but their choice of language shows investor sentiment improving outside London. If only banks would follow suit.
http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/4499a...#axzz1P5ae1EC7
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Old June 15th, 2011, 02:41 AM   #2458
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Old June 15th, 2011, 05:50 PM   #2459
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Quote:
Bid to stop UBS' Europe HQ plans in London fails

British Land (BLND.L) and Blackstone Group's (BX.N) plan to build UBS' (UBS.N)(UBSN.VX) new European headquarters in central London will go ahead after a bid to preserve the location as a heritage site failed.

"The Secretary of State (Jeremy Hunt) ... considers that Broadgate does not meet the stringent criteria of historic or architectural interest required to be added to the statutory list," the UK's Department for Culture, Media and Sport said in a letter to preservation body English Heritage.

British Land and Blackstone's 850 million pound plan to build UBS' new offices in London's City financial district was put on hold after English Heritage recommended Broadgate for a Grade II* listing on June 3.

The listing, if successful, would have protected the site from demolition, and included two buildings British Land had hoped to clear for its redevelopment project. The decision means British Land and Blackstone can proceed with their plans to UBS' new European headquarters.

At 0920 GMT, shares in British Land were up 1 percent at 597 pence, outperforming the broader index of property stocks .FTELUK, which was 0.2 percent higher. Blackstone's shares closed at $17.02 on Tuesday in New York.

"I am delighted by today's decision as it allows Broadgate to continue to evolve as a sustainable and flexible office location that will meet the future needs of occupiers whilst maintaining the sense of space and place for which it is rightly renowned around the globe," British Land's chief executive Chris Grigg said in a statement.

"With the decision made today by Jeremy Hunt, the Government has also sent out a message loud and clear to the world that the UK is open for business," he said. (Reporting by Brenda Goh; Editing by Andrew Macdonald)
http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/...75E02R20110615

Quote:
Hunt rejects Broadgate listing

British Land and the City of London were celebrating on Wednesday after culture secretary Jeremy Hunt brushed aside a recommendation from English Heritage that Broadgate in the Square Mile should be listed, paving the way for a £340m European headquarters for UBS.

A Grade II listing for the 1980s complex, designed by Peter Foggo of Arup, would have derailed plans by British Land and private equity group Blackstone to knock down Numbers 4 and 6 Broadgate and build a 700,000 sq ft "groundscraper". The proposed building has become the subject of a fierce tug of war between financiers and conservationists.

Hunt's decision came much earlier than expected, after furious lobbying by the City. Construction of the UBS headquarters can now start as planned this summer, with the Swiss bank due to move in by 2014.

British Land's chief executive, Chris Grigg, said: "I am delighted by today's decision as it allows Broadgate to continue to evolve as a sustainable and flexible office location that will meet the future needs of occupiers whilst maintaining the sense of space and place for which it is rightly renowned around the globe. With the decision made today by Jeremy Hunt, the government has also sent out a message loud and clear to the world that the UK is open for business."

English Heritage had described Broadgate as a "triumph of urbanism" and argued that it represented "outstanding quality" in terms of its architectural and historical interest. Hunt disagreed with his official adviser.

In a letter to English Heritage, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: "[The Secretary of State] has concluded that Broadgate phases 1-4 is not of sufficient architectural or historical interest to merit listing protection under the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990."

The City of London Corporation's policy chairman, Stuart Fraser, welcomed the decision. He said: "The City of London was opposed to this listing from the start, not only on architectural grounds but also because of the impact it would have had on the City's international competitiveness. The City is – and always has been – first and foremost a place of business and it must be allowed to adapt to meet the long-term business needs of current and potential future occupiers.

"Time and again, the government has emphasised the importance of demonstrating that the UK is open for business; by refusing to list Broadgate, Jeremy Hunt has sent a positive message to the international business community. Post big bang, Broadgate helped facilitate the growth of the Square Mile into the world's leading financial centre and, as a result of today's decision, I have no doubt that it will play a leading role in helping the City to retain this status for many years to come."

Mayor of London Boris Johnson had described English Heritage's plans for the site to be listed as "ludicrous". The new UBS building, which has been designed by one of the architects responsible for the Gherkin, Ken Shuttleworth, will boast four floors that can each hold 750 traders.

Ministers usually accept the recommendations of English Heritage, although they recently refused to endorse its advice to list the 1970s Commonwealth War Graves Commission headquarters building in Maidenhead, and in March overruled English Heritage on ABK's 1970s Redcar library.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...by-jeremy-hunt
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Old June 16th, 2011, 12:28 PM   #2460
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13782822




St Paul's Cathedral completes £40m restoration project

St Paul's Cathedral has completed its £40m restoration project.

The St Paul's Cathedral programme of cleaning and repair took 15 years and is one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken in the UK.

It is the first time in its history that St Paul's has been comprehensively restored inside and out.

The culmination of the cleaning project coincides with the 300th anniversary of the cathedral being declared complete by Parliament.

'Wren's original vision'

It is also the first time in 15 years that the landmark is free from scaffolding.

A service will be held to celebrate the 300th anniversary on Tuesday 21 June.

The project has seen the west front cleaned and repaired while the interior of the cathedral has been transformed by state-of-the-art conservation techniques.

The Right Reverend Graeme Knowles, Dean of St Paul's, said: "The two million worshippers, pilgrims and visitors who come to St Paul's each year can now witness [Sir Christopher] Wren's original vision and see the cathedral as fresh as the day it was completed."

Martin Stancliffe, Surveyor to the Fabric, who has overseen the restoration project, described it as a "privilege - and an extraordinary experience".

"This great building is now in a sound state, and probably looks better than at any time since its completion in 1711," he said.

St Paul's is the cathedral church of the diocese of London, which it has served for over 1,400 years.

Charles II

Each year nearly two million people visit the cathedral for services, concerts, debates, educational events, performing arts and sightseeing.

A cathedral dedicated to St Paul has stood on the same site since 604AD.

Sir Christopher Wren's 300-year-old masterpiece is the fourth one to have been built there.

Court architect Wren was commissioned by Charles II to build the cathedral after its predecessor was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666.

It took Wren a decade to design the building and 40 years for it to be built.
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