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Old August 2nd, 2011, 10:11 AM   #2561
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Occupancy levels continue to rise across Central London offices

New research from Colliers International has shown that net stock absorption of office space in Central London reached 1.8m sq ft in H1 2011, resulting in a rise in occupancy across all core locations.

The market for office space in the West End saw six month occupancy rise at its fastest rate since pre-credit crunch in H2 2005 and now stands at 94%. Grade A absorption remains strong but H1 2011 shows levels moderating, primarily due to below average take-up of office space in the City.

Central London availability fell to a 30 month low driven by a fall in Central London Grade A availability of 17% in the past 12 months. In the West End market, Grade A availability has seen an even sharper decline over the past year, down by 55%. However, take-up of top quality product has begun to peak due to the lack of new space being delivered onto the market. The Central London office market saw quarterly take-up rise by just 7%, as overall availability fell by 10%.

The lack of availability of Grade A stock is starting to have a significant impact upon headline rents, specifically across the West End market. Some locations have already are seen double digit growth in 2011 to date.

While competition for Grade A space continues to drive up headline figures, the second-hand market is also beginning to see significant falls in vacancy as cost-conscious occupiers look for alternative options in the core locations. Second-hand availability is down by 19% since the start of 2011.
http://www.freeofficesearch.co.uk/Of...eyear=July2011
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 12:57 AM   #2562
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Plans go in for £60m Thames floating walkway

A consortium, which includes Mace, has submitted plans for a £60m floating walkway on the north bank of the Thames. Mace and architect Gensler helped to draw-up designs for the London River Park, which is scheduled for a fast-track completion in time for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations and Olympics next year.

Developer London River Park, led by Singapore based investor Venus Group, submitted detailed plans to the City of London Corporation. The 1km long walkway will provide a 12m wide floating pontoon to run parallel to the existing disjointed pathways and streets that currently connect the north bank of the river.

The 420m western section of the park will start to the east of Blackfriars Bridge and terminate just after Southwark Bridge. The next 540m eastern section will start to the east of Cannon Street Rail Bridge and run east of Customs House by Tower Bridge. This part of the project will include a swimming pool and docking station for Thames passenger services.

Along this route eight themed pavilions will be built to showcase London and for hosting events beside the Thames.

Head of property and construction at Venus Group, John Naylor, said: “This is a very exciting moment for the team and we are proud to have submitted plans for the floating London River Park. “These plans have been shaped by the expertise of many expert and experienced hands, as well as the people of London. He added: “With the backing of the City of London and Greater London Assembly, we can make the floating river park a reality in time for the Queen’s Jubilee celebrations next year."
http://www.constructionenquirer.com/...ating-walkway/
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 01:05 AM   #2563
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Qatari Diar seals property development deal

Qatari Diar is to redevelop the Shell Centre in London's South Bank. Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company and Canary Wharf Group have signed a property development agreement with Shell International to refurbish one of its sites.

Both companies will now contribute £150 million to redevelop the Shell centre in London's South Bank, securing the 5.25 plot on a 999-year lease, with Canary Wharf Group acting as the construction manager.

The development itself will comprise residential, retail and office space, while Shell itself will retain the famed 1950s, 27-storey tower in the middle of the centre.

Now, commercial property planning permission is being sought, with designs and a construction timetable submitted to the relevant stakeholders and local planning authorities.

"We look forward to working with our partners at Canary Wharf Group and the local community to redevelop this iconic location," group chief executive of Qatari Diar Mohammed bin Ali Al Hedfa remarked.

According to Peter Mindenall, IPINGlobal.com researcher, noted that the Olympics next year will give the property sector a boost, with a hike in rental yields expected in the lead-up to the Games.
http://www.commercialfinancegroup.co...velopment-deal
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Old August 3rd, 2011, 10:03 PM   #2564
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Covent Garden is thriving for Capco

Asian and US brands are jumping on the success of the Apple store in Covent Garden to launch their first UK outposts in the area, landlord Capital & Counties said today.

As British luxury good retailers flock to Asia, Capco's chief executive Ian Hawksworth said: "Foreign retailers are talking to us about using Covent Garden as their first entry into the capital. London is the number one target for American and Asia Pacific retailers and the Olympics is adding further impetus.

"We've just signed up [Hong Kong handbag store] Rabeanco, and it's a theme. More Asian and US brands want representation in the London market. Generally, Asian firms like a recognised addresses, and Covent Garden is one."

Capco has introduced 41 new brands to the Covent Garden estate in the last five years, including Burberry Brit and macaroon maker Ladurée over the past six months. Some 45 million visitors now flock to the area each year, helping Capco hike rents in Long Acre, the Market Building and King Street to record levels in the six months to July.

Its net asset value per share hit 154p, up 4% over six months. That was dragged back by disappointing numbers from its exhibition venues at Earls Court and Olympia. Pre-tax profit rose 28% to £70.2 million.

The London landlord is pressing ahead with its £8 billion Earls Court development, where it has submitted planning permission to build 7500 new homes and two million square feet of commercial, retail and leisure space. Capco said it had paid Hammersmith & Fulham council a £15 million deposit for a one-year "exclusivity period" to consider including the West Kensington and Gibbs Green housing estates in its development plans. The council need only return £10 million if the deal doesn't go through.

Also today, Hawksworth said he had "made representations" to Transport for London about its move to suspend regular District Line services to Kensington Olympia Tube station.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standa...g-for-capco.do
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Old August 4th, 2011, 06:15 PM   #2565
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UNITE Plan Kings Cross Student Carbuncle

One of the numerous new pieces of student housing planned for around Kings Cross in London is being developed by the UNITE Group and Travis Perkins.



The design from Bellis Cooley consists of a mixed-use building on the west of St Pancras Way, and will host not only 564 student bedrooms, but also a 3,877 square metre builder supplier run by Travis Perkins. The intention is to construct the building supply warehouse with the student housing occupying the floors above it in a series of cluster flats split into four blocks with the tallest part in the centre adding up to ten floors in total.

The design of the building clearly features pre-fabricated construction, something that is becoming increasingly popular with the student housing market. There is the repetitive use of small square windows that line the plainly clad building. Some effort is made to break up the façade a little by having contrasting grey cladding with the cream, but like it or not it appears as a wall along St Pancras Way that perhaps one would guess was a young offenders institution.

To counter this somewhat, projecting red boxes feature sparingly but tacked on like an after-thought, whilst there are set backs at various points above the warehouse that allow for the creation of roof gardens.

Unfortunately many of the views feature a building with a bulky mass, one that cannot be reduced through additional step-backs on the upper floor because the developers have decided to plump for a modular construction system. This also prevents varying sizes of windows being used so the construction technique enforces repetition.

Inside the cluster flats are arranged in such a way that long corridors connect them to the lifts with many lacking any daylight at all. Almost all the common rooms of the cluster flats have single aspect views, with the windows being the same small ones as used in the bedrooms. There are however few regulations for student housing that could be used to change this.

Ultimately, the design on show is worthy of the worst student carbuncles seen in Leicester or Leeds, and will struggle to ever get planning approval from the Mayor of London's office in its current form although Camden council have given it their thumbs up, only earlier this week.
http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=2904
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Old August 5th, 2011, 12:12 AM   #2566
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Old August 5th, 2011, 01:52 AM   #2567
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Watch LONDON 2012

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Old August 6th, 2011, 01:13 AM   #2568
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Boris Johnson will use a March event to push London’s Tech City as the digital capital of Europe

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will speak at Digital London, an event designed to promote London as the digital capital of Europe, in March 2012.

The organisers hope the two day event, on 13 and 14 March in the Excel centre in Docklands, will be a sort of “Digital Davos” (echoing the World Economic Forum’s annual get together for senior politicians and industrialists), and draw enough tech visionaries to put London’s Tech City on the map, and boost the national and local economy.

Promoting Silicon Roundabout

The event is all about building up London’s tech credibility during the Olympic year, and adding lustre to Tech City, the East London area often referred to as “Silicon Roundabout“, intended by Johnson and Prime Minister David Cameron as a legacy from the Olympics.

“Digital London is a fantastic showcase for the city,” said Johnson. “London’s position as a centre for technology, innovation and creativity underpins its growing position as the digital capital of Europe.”

Describing the event as “the Davos of Digital”, Adam Malik of event organiser, Maven Cast, said it would boost growth and opportunity. “We will be inviting visionaries, policy makers and technology leaders from around the world to share their experiences on delivering digital services for both public and private sectors and creating an environment for innovation.”

Sponsors so far include Adobe, BroadVision, Colt, Google, Intel, Match.com, Microsoft. Qualcomm and Vodafone.
Tech City so far has had investment from Cisco and others and has been considered for Twitter’s European headquarters. it has also been given a 1.5Gbps broadband trial by Virgin Media.


http://www.eweekeurope.co.uk/news/ma...on-event-36028
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Old August 6th, 2011, 01:15 AM   #2569
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Work steps up on London's most ambitious station redevelopment

As these incredible images detail, constructions works are picking up pace at King’s Cross Station in the heart of London’s Borough of Camden. Designed by experienced architects John McAslan + Partners, the multi-phase scheme takes a three-pronged approach: re-use, restore, and new build. The various train sheds and buildings across the Western Range are being re-used, the Station’s original Grade I listed facade from 1852 is being uncovered and restored to its former splendour, and an extensive new Western Concourse will be inserted above the London Underground Ticketing Hall.

Arguably the most arresting of the scheme’s attributes is a towering steel funnel which welcomes travellers to the Station through its metal tendrils. Rising 20m from the station floor, the white fluted structure spans the entire 150m width of the Grade I listed Western Range drawing attention to the beautiful heritage architecture beneath which has been uncovered for the first time since 1972.

Chairman of John McAslan + Partners, John McAslan comments: “It’s incredible to watch the reinvention of the station taking shape into a compelling piece of place-making for London. You can already see how the Western Concourse – Europe’s largest single span station structure and the heart of the development – reconnects this much-loved Victorian terminus to its context. It’s immensely satisfying to see the project move forward at such pace and we look forward to celebrating the project’s completion in 2012 for the London Olympics.”

With the official opening date of the station only seven months away, work is really pressing on to hit the deadline. The images to the left show just how much of the funnel structure is now in place, with restoration procedures well underway and large sections of rebuffed brickwork gleaming through the steel columns. The five buildings that form the Western Range are being fully renewed, with the Northern Wing rebuilt to its original design after it was destroyed many years ago during WWII, and the Main Train Shed and adjacent Suburban Train Shed are also being restored and exposed to the public view.


Magic new images of King's Cross










http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com...pload_id=17244
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Old August 6th, 2011, 03:30 AM   #2570
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Fantastic!
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Old August 6th, 2011, 03:44 AM   #2571
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That is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. What a structure.
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Old August 6th, 2011, 04:04 AM   #2572
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I am speechless
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Old August 6th, 2011, 06:22 AM   #2573
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This strucuture remind me the Soumaya Museum of mexico
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Old August 7th, 2011, 02:38 AM   #2574
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Better than the renders, which is not very common.
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Old August 7th, 2011, 09:27 AM   #2575
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Heathrow replacement to be dreamed up by leading architectural firm



Plans to build a huge new airport for London from reclaimed land in the river Thames have been given a significant boost by a leading architectural firm.

Foster + Partners, the company behind London's Gherkin, the Reichstag parliament renovation in Berlin and - perhaps most significantly - the Chek Lap Kok International Airport in Hong Kong, revealed July 31 that it is working on a detailed study for an integrated transport project called the "Thames Hub."

The vision would include an airport capable of handling 150 million passengers a year, new rail links, a tidal energy barrage and a flood protection barrier for London.

Foster + Partners is spending £100,000 (approx. €114,000) on the design, which is being produced in conjunction with Halcrow, the firm behind projects like Abu Dhabi's Yas Island and Seoul's Incheon Airport.

London has suffered an aviation problem for some years now, with an explosion in air travel pushing the aging London Heathrow - already one of the world's busiest international airports - close to a breaking point.

The construction of a new airport in the Thames Estuary as a solution has been mooted in the past, most notably by London's ambitious mayor Boris Johnson, and although critics have described the plans as fantasy, Foster + Partners founder Lord Foster vehemently disagrees.

"These visionary proposals are far from future fantasy," said the firm's famous namesake.

"They are both essential and down to earth. This move would greatly improve the quality of life for Londoners by reducing pollution and improving security. It would also allow London to compete with rapidly expanding airports in Europe and the Middle East."

While Foster points out that Hong Kong's international airport (regularly voted one of the best in the world) was built on an island reclaimed from the sea in just four years, his vision for London is a long-term one, spanning the next 50 years to 2060.

The full vision, and an assessment of the proposals, will be released in full this September.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-st...m-2333053.html
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Old August 8th, 2011, 07:46 PM   #2576
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So boring that i can hardly get the enthusiasm up to post this, but here goes...

Canary Wharf to build new tower

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/n...new-tower.html


...dont get too excited ( i certainly didnt)...just another boring,bland mid-rise filler (110m to 130m, no one is quite sure yet on final height or design)...

Either this...Yawnnnn, Zzzzzz (130m)



or thi...ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (110m)

image hosted on flickr


Still, i suppose the fact that, OMG!!!...Canary Wharf is actually going to have something built is a positive, right?..
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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:46 PM   #2577
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Both versions are bland but okay, the positive side is there's some construction activity in CW.
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Old August 10th, 2011, 05:11 PM   #2578
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Saffron Square Tower

by csk.



















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Old August 13th, 2011, 11:50 PM   #2579
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Thames cable car could be on course for Olympics

-- Link to The Wharf article --

It's only seven weeks since construction began on the Thames cable car but don't bet against it being operational before the London Olympics. The £50million link from the Royal Docks to the Greenwich Peninsula is one Mayor of London Boris Johnson has personally pushed through, despite the absence of promised private investment. The project costs are being paid by Transport for London, which it said will be recouped through sponsorship and ticket sales.

Last week The Wharf went for a look at the site of the cable car's north station in Royal Victoria Dock. The rate of progress is astonishing. Piles have been driven 44m into the dock bed, and work on this stage of the project should be completed at the end of this month. The next stage will be the laying of a concrete base for the 550sq m station to stand on, before the building of the station itself begins.

It's a complicated, complex project but one TfL and their contractors Mace and Doppelmayr are determined to bring in on budget and on time - even if they won't confirm when it will open. Matthew Randall, project manager for Mace, explained some of the intricacies. He said: "Work is going well. We're on course to finish piling at the end of the month and then we start laying the concrete. We're also preparing to build the towers to carry the cable. The tallest will be 85m high, to ensure that the cable car is never less than 54m above the river. The last part of the project will be to lay the cable across, and we use a helicopter to do that, so we'll just hope it's not a windy day when we do it."

Anyone concerned about noise and safety should not be worried according to TfL project manager Daniel Alston. He said: "We'll have deflectors and cladding to reduce any noise. The design is such it keeps the noise inside the building, while passengers on the gondolas will have a quiet journey. Wind is something we have been looking at in particular. Its been designed with reference to 2007, which was a particularly windy year for this part of London. We'll have anemometers on the tower tops to measure the wind and cameras monitoring the cable. If it gets too windy the gondolas slow down. Passenger safety is the most important thing to us. What we're aiming for is 97 per cent performance criteria to keep the cable car in operation in all weather conditions."

While the cable car would be useful for ferrying spectators between the Olympic venues at The O2 and Excel, TfL restated there is no pressure to have it ready for the start of the Games next July. A spokeswoman said: "The cable car project is progressing well and is scheduled for completion during summer 2012. However, this project is not part of the Olympics Transport plan and is therefore not required to be completed in time for the Games and will be managed accordingly. This exciting new river crossing will stimulate regeneration in this area including the new Enterprise Zone in the Royal Victoria Docks."

It's certainly an impressive engineering project, and one east London will watch grow over the coming months. But will it prove to be the answer to the area's pressing need improved river crossings? The answer to that is still up in the air.

Facts and figures:
  • The cable car will span 1.1km across the Thames from North Greenwich to the Royal Victoria Dock
  • The north station will be built on piles in the dock, the south station is to be located close to the London Soccerdome and The O2. Both stations will be around 550sq m in size.
  • The cable car will have 34 gondolas, each capable of carrying up to 10 passengers. It will be able to carry up to 2,500 passengers in each direction every hour.
  • Between 20 and 25 people will work on the link when it's in operation.





Courtesy of woodgnome.
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Old August 14th, 2011, 05:51 AM   #2580
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London Redesigned for Moscow



Cornwall Terrace used to be part of a royal hunting estate, but the area is now wait-listed by Russians looking to move there.

The mansions that line Cornwall Terrace in London look like traditional British homes on the outside, but their interiors are getting a Slavic feel thanks to elite Russian clients who are looking to own a piece of English history.

The demand from rich Russians is so great that London's real estate developers are reconstructing some former residences of England's historical figures, including poets and admirals, to suit the specific tastes of clients.

Three homes on Cornwall Terrace, which is located within a former royal hunting estate, have been redesigned with Russians in mind.

The clients want homes with high ceilings, archaic characteristics, one-of-a-kind furniture, pianos in the lobby and windows that overlook parks, according to the developers that work with the elite market. Home cinemas, saunas, swimming pools, gyms and ample parking are also considered basic requirements.

The redesign can take eight to 10 months, after which the new owners are fully set to move in.

"The only thing they need to bring is their comb and their toothbrush," said Beth Dean, sales and marketing director of developer Oakmayne Bespoke.

The properties offer round-the-clock support for occupants.

Harrods Estates apartments provide 24-hour concierge service and a property management team that prepares everything before the Russian owner arrives at his London home.

Staff is also never far away, with residences for drivers, personal assistants and nannies located in the former mews at the back of the main house.

Security is a key demand of Russian clients, regardless of whether they buy property abroad or domestically, said Alexander Shatalov, chief executive officer of IntermarkSavills.

The apartments by Harrods Estates are equipped with security cameras, while Oakmayne Bespoke houses are linked to smart technology so the owner can monitor his property from anywhere in the world.

Inside, Russians want luxurious furniture and fabrics, said a designer with Helen Green Design, which has worked on one of the houses on Cornwall Terrace. She draped the home in silks, velvet and furs to meet customer needs.



Interiors combine standard European elite tastes with Russian opulence.

"When we're talking about Russian clients, we're really talking about opulence and luxury," she said.

A designer with Moscow-based L-Project Design Studio said she has decorated elite Russian homes with lamps that are covered in pearls and hand carvings of roses on glass.

"There is a Russian mentality of wanting to live in opulence," she said.

But the Russians' decadent tastes are not what they were several years ago, the designer said. They are adjusting to European tastes, making orders to fill houses with fur carpets, leather upholstery, sparkling wallpaper and glossy furniture rarer.

Their tastes have also become more aligned with those of elite buyers in general.

"Oscar Wilde's immortal phrase 'I have simple tastes and am always satisfied with the best' is very much applicable to wealthy compatriots abroad," Shatalov said.

But it is still easy to spot a Russian client, developers say. Unlike other nationalities, Russians don't give them any breaks.

"They want to know how everything works," Dean said. "They're not just looking on the outside, but what's inside the walls."

She said Russian clients come to them after doing extensive research. They are savvy about warranties and can be counted on to check electric outlets and the heating system.

"They will notice a bump on the floors," said Gary Hersham, managing director at Beauchamp Estates.

The developers are taking a personalized approach to market their properties to Russians.

Oakmayne Bespoke representatives travel to Russia as well as Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Kazakhstan to hold private meetings with perspective clients, Dean said. Harrods Estates has a specialized team that works with Russian clients and a helicopter to showcase their properties.

The market for elite houses is small, but the properties are getting attention. Russians, Arabs and South Asians are the biggest players on the elite market right now, said Shirley Humphrey, sales and marketing director of Harrods Estates.

IntermarkSavills sees more and more Russians buying homes in the Cornwall Terrace area that cost from £5 million ($8 million) to £15 million. Beauchamp Estates has sold more than 10 units in excess of £25 million over the past year.

Russians are shopping abroad more confidently than 10 years ago, Humphrey said.

"Now they know the market. They know where they want to live," she said. "They know the street where they want to live, the building, the floor."

Some of the clients are even on waiting lists for specific buildings or apartments, Humphrey said.

Demand for family homes, in particular, has grown. Hersham said he has seen a trend over the past two years of elite Russians relocating to bigger properties as their children move in after enrolling in British schools.

But the market options may be drying up soon because London has few properties that are capable of undergoing the extensive reconstruction work that developers need to do to satisfy Russian clients.

"We need to go back to the bones of the house," Dean said. "If we can't do that, we won't touch it."
http://www.themoscowtimes.com/busine...#ixzz1Uy4KiLy8
The Moscow Times
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