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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:47 PM   #4021
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Mykura to build NGCI London hub

Hamish Mykura is creating a National Geographic Channel International commissioning hub in London in a bid to reinvent its output with a string of long-running formats.

The former Channel 4 head of documentaries joined NGCI as head of international content at the beginning of the year and will kick off his strategy with the appointment of five new commissioners and schedulers, to be based at NGC’s UK base in Shepherd’s Bush.

The new team will develop, order and market shows for Nat Geo’s global network, spanning 172 countries and 335 million homes, but excluding the US. The strategy echoes that of factual rival Discovery Networks International.

[...]

http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/news/i...041538.article
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:48 PM   #4022
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Abu Dhabi sells London office block to Blackstone for US$549m - report

Private equity company Blackstone Group has expanded its property presence in London, buying the 12-building Devonshire Square office and retail complex from rival Rockpoint and the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), according to a source familiar with the deal.

The deal was signed on Friday for just under 340 million pounds ($549m), according to the Financial Times, about 17 percent below the 410 million pounds paid by Rockpoint and ADIA for the five-acre Devonshire Square site in 2006 during a peak in the London office-property market.

Rockpoint and ADIA redeveloped the Devonshire Square site. The project is near Broadgate, the office complex in the City of London in the heart of the financial district, that Blackstone owns in a 50-50 joint venture with British Land.

http://www.arabianbusiness.com/abu-d...rt-457181.html
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #4023
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Crossrail plans to transform Tottenham Court Road and West End approved

Westminster City Council has given its approval for the regeneration of Tottenham Court Road and the east end of Oxford Street, including the former Astoria site.

The development plans, submitted in conjunction with Derwent London, are for two above ground developments located over each ticket hall of the integrated Tottenham Court Road station that will serve both Crossrail and London Underground passengers.

The 500,000 sq ft of premium retail, office and residential accommodation will cover four blocks, boosting the economy in the eastern end of Oxford Street and Tottenham Court Road. It will also deliver a significant contribution towards the Crossrail funding package.

A new theatre to replace the former Astoria Theatre has also been approved. Derwent London has entered into an agreement with Nimax who will operate the new 350 seat theatre.

London Underground and Crossrail have also gained approval for plans to renew and upgrade the public spaces around the eastern ticket hall and St Giles area. A new open pedestrian space linking Soho Square and Charing Cross Road will create new views of the Square and of St. Patrick’s Church.

http://www.breakingtravelnews.com/ne...-end-approved/
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:51 PM   #4024
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Qataris buy stake in Shell

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has bought a stake in Royal Dutch Shell as part of a drive to invest the emirate’s vast gas wealth in western assets.
The move deepens the already close relationship between Shell and Qatar, which is home to some of the Anglo-Dutch oil group’s largest energy projects. It also marks something of a departure for the Qatar Investment Authority which has tended to diversify its holdings into western financial services, manufacturers and luxury goods.

A spokeswoman for Shell said it was “delighted to welcome the Qatar Investment Authority as a long-term and major shareholder in Shell, and particularly given our excellent strategic relationship with the Qatari state”.
A spokesman for QIA declined to comment.

People familiar with the matter said Qatar’s stake in Shell is less than 3 per cent. A 3 per cent stake would be worth €4.94bn ($6.4bn) based on the company’s current share price. It would make Qatar the third largest shareholder in Shell after BlackRock and Legal & General.

Qatar Holding, the direct investment arm of QIA, also owns a stake in another big European oil company, Total of France. In 2010, it bought a 9 per cent stake in Hochtief, the German construction group and last year it took a 5 per cent stake in Tiffany, the US jewellery retailer.

[...]

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/831b4b78-9...#axzz1uaGpSqc6
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:53 PM   #4025
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Revamped Shepherds Bush Tube station ceiling replaced

Close to £500,000 will be spent on replacing the ceiling of a west London Tube station which was refurbished in 2008, Transport for London (TfL) said.

Shepherds Bush station reopened in October, a month before the £1.6bn Westfield Shopping Centre opened.



Work has already begun on the suspended ceiling in the ticket hall after it showed "signs of movement", TfL said.

Westfield is paying for the work. The station will remain open while the work continues until June.

The ceiling showed "signs of movement and distorts very slightly under some conditions", TfL said.

The ceiling was safe but its support structure could become weaker over time.

A TfL spokesperson said: "We are carrying out works at Shepherds Bush Underground station ticket hall to replace the ceiling and its supporting structure and replace the external thermal insulation.

"The scaffolding is inside the ticket hall but passengers are still able to use the station and the escalators as all the work is being carried out at night."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-18038730
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Old May 11th, 2012, 08:54 PM   #4026
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London rickshaws may be licensed if plans are approved

Bicycle rickshaws, motorcycle taxis and stretch limousines could be licensed as part of plans to improve road safety.

Under the proposals set out by the Law Commission for England and Wales, a "peak time" taxi licence could also be brought in.

A national minimum of safety standards was also recommended by the commission.

Taxi numbers would no longer be restricted by local authorities and private hire operators would be able to take bookings outside their local area.

If passed, the reforms would ensure that volunteers who drive elderly people or childminders who collect children as part of their work would no longer be at risk of being caught by licensing rules.

There would also be exemptions from licensing for wedding and funeral cars, said the commission which reviews and recommends law reforms.

With the introduction of national minimum standards, there would be no scope for additional local requirements such as local knowledge or specific vehicle standards for mini-cabs, but these would remain in place for taxis which can be hailed on the street.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-18018010
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Old May 12th, 2012, 04:37 AM   #4027
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by corerising

image hosted on flickr

London Cable Car by corerising, on Flickr
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Old May 12th, 2012, 05:45 AM   #4028
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So the cable car is finished?
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Old May 12th, 2012, 06:06 AM   #4029
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Still think the cablecar was someone's pet project, seems so cool yet unnecessary.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 02:51 PM   #4030
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So the cable car is finished?
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:10 PM   #4031
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dallas star View Post
Still think the cablecar was someone's pet project, seems so cool yet unnecessary.
LOL, it's funny you can tell that! It is in fact our Mayors pet project - Boris Johnson. But it is a good idea as this area of London is currently being regenerated.
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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:40 PM   #4032
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Originally Posted by PortoNuts View Post
Frogmore to develop boutique hotel in London

10:09 | 11.11.09

By Deirdre Hipwell

Frogmore has unveiled plans to develop a luxury 80-room hotel at South Place near Broadgate in London.

South Place is located near the Great Eastern Hotel, next to Liverpool Street Station. Frogmore, headed by Paul White, bought 3 & 4 South Place in July 2007 from Derwent London for around £18m. The site straddles the boroughs of the City of London Corporation and Islington Borough Council.

As part of its plans to create a 72,000 sq ft boutique hotel, e designed by architect Allies & Morrison, it has agreed a deal with hotel operator D&D London to lease the hotel on a 35-year term. D&D London was formerly known as Conran Restaurants and is still 51% owned by Sir Terence Conran. The interior of the hotel will be designed by Conran & Partners.

Frogmore has submitted a planning application and is awaiting consent for the scheme which will cost £50m to develop.

White said it had decided to carry out a hotel development at the scheme as it was a more viable option and securing a tenant such as D&D on a long term lease was a major coup.

Gerard Nolan & Partners advised Frogmore .
I just wanted to highlight this post again as I walk past this construction site quite often and had always wondered what was demolished in order to make way for it... prepare for shock and horror.

This:

[IMG]http://i48.************/2zsuzqh.png[/IMG]

Has been replaced with this:

[IMG]http://i47.************/s42jv6.jpg[/IMG]

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Old May 12th, 2012, 09:52 PM   #4033
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LOL, it's funny you can tell that! It is in fact our Mayors pet project - Boris Johnson. But it is a good idea as this area of London is currently being regenerated.
I love it! It just doesn't seem very sustainable.
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Old May 13th, 2012, 03:47 AM   #4034
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image hosted on flickr

Narrow boat and Canary Wharf. by maggie jones., on Flickr
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Old May 13th, 2012, 03:49 AM   #4035
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Broadgate Circle Redevelopment Planned



Broadgate Circle, the semi public space in the middle of the Broadgate Centre in the City of London is due a make over by the joint owners, British Land and the Blackstone Group.

The makeover is being designed by Arup Associates who have returned to the project following the later phases that were designed by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill.

Arup did much of the original work at Broadgate including 3, 4 and 6 Broadgate. The latter two of are currently being redeveloped into a headquarters for UBS after the totally impartial Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, prevented English Heritage from succeeding in listing them. In this case however, English Heritage support the Arup redesign mindful that it helps preserve the original character of Broadgate Circle.

The 80s amphitheatre-style space will see new shops and restaurant outlets featured around the circular lower ground level with outdoor seating and new canopies above that will allow their use for the majority of the year come wind, rain, or shine.

There will be six new kiosks at ground level and a re-jigged basement level will permit a number of multi-level units for the first time that can be pitched towards leisure uses. The ability to site gyms here for example would reap benefits for the owners who would get substantial passing traffic from bankers going to and from work.

In the winter months the Broadgate Circle will continue to host the successful ice rink that has marked it out as a bit more than an a standard corporatised open space.

A planning application for the redevelopment is currently being considered by the City of London.

http://www.skyscrapernews.com/news.php?ref=3088
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Old May 13th, 2012, 02:50 PM   #4036
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that reminds me, we haven't heard anything of the new UBS hq in a very long time, last I heard the site was cleared, has anything changed since?
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Old May 13th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #4037
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Basement level works have started as far as I know...
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Old May 13th, 2012, 08:14 PM   #4038
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Basement level works have started as far as I know...
quite
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Old May 13th, 2012, 10:10 PM   #4039
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I think its disgusting how they would replace that beautiful old building with that horrible tacky looking modern one. real shame
This:

[IMG]http://i48.************/2zsuzqh.png[/IMG]

Has been replaced with this:

[IMG]http://i47.************/s42jv6.jpg[/IMG]

[/QUOTE]
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Old May 14th, 2012, 01:25 PM   #4040
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May 13, 2012 6:11 pm
Canary Wharf claims high ground on City

By Patrick Jenkins and Ed Hammond






Canary Wharf will finally come of age over the next two months when the UK’s “new” financial centre overtakes the traditional City of London as the biggest employer of bankers in Europe.

According to Financial Times research, the transfer of 8,000 jobs by US bank JPMorgan from various sites around the Square Mile to the group’s new European headquarters at 25 Bank Street will finally tip the balance of power three miles eastwards down the Thames.

JPMorgan is currently mid-way through the process of moving staff from the City to its new 33-floor Canary Wharf tower block, formerly the headquarters of Lehman Brothers in Europe. Once that transfer is complete in July, the 16 biggest banks in the UK will together employ 44,500 bankers in Canary Wharf, compared with 43,300 in the City.

More banks – 10 of the 16 – still have their main offices in the City. But the biggest employers – and the biggest HQs – are now in Canary Wharf.

HSBC and Barclays are both headquartered there, as is Credit Suisse’s investment banking operation. JPMorgan will join fellow US banks Citigroup and Morgan Stanley.

While the City’s predominantly period or “low-rise” architecture restricts the number of staff that can be housed in the district, forcing them to occupy multiple buildings, Canary Wharf boasts a cluster of high-rise blocks in the shadow of One Canada Square, the pyramid-topped 1991 block that for many years stood as a lone beacon for the area and was the tallest building in Europe.

Bank bosses say the economics of rents that are a third cheaper and the availability of large buildings that can accommodate several thousand people under one roof will continue to drive the shift.

But moving there is often unpopular with staff, despite the emergence of new shops, bars and restaurants in the area. “There is life in Canary Wharf but it’s a pretty sterile life,” said one senior banker.



Canary Wharf was created over several fitful years under the last Conservative government in the 1980s and 1990s, when land freed up by the closure of the West India Docks was redeveloped. The first tower blocks were completed in 1991 but only over the past five to 10 years has the area become a magnet for the banking industry.

The balance of bankers in London is likely to shift further towards Canary Wharf in the coming months as several City-based banks, such as Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS, are set to cut staff.
High-rise Docklands loom over historic rival

It has been a long time coming. But more than 20 years after Canary Wharf’s first tower blocks sprang up, the district has finally sucked the majority of bankers out of the City of London, the UK’s financial heart.



An FT analysis of the 16 major banks with a significant presence in either the City or Canary Wharf shows that once JPMorgan has moved 8,000 of its 11,000 London employees into its new 25 Bank Street European headquarters in July, the balance of bankers will have moved to “The Wharf”.

Excluded are a number of smaller banks and boutique advisory firms in both locations, as well as the legion of other financial services companies that populate each district. But for big banks, the trend is obvious - Canary Wharf is becoming an increasingly powerful magnet.

In pure cost terms the argument for relocating is clear cut. Annual average rents for so-called prime office space are running at £36 per sq ft in Canary Wharf, compared with £55 per sq ft in the City. The Canary Wharf figure is up from from £20 in 1990, while rates in the City are unchanged on two decades ago. But the gap in price is still cited by many in the property industry as the biggest threat to the City’s ability to attract tenants in future.

“When you are buying a few hundred thousand square feet at a time, that gap in price makes a huge difference to the cost of running your business,” says Michael Marx, chief executive of Development Securities, the property investment company.

Aside from the financial attractions, banks are drawn to Canary Wharf because of the style of buildings on offer.

Tower blocks provide the flexibility to expand rapidly without relocating, while large, open-plan floor plates are well suited for trading rooms. By contrast, the City is dominated by smaller, often multi-tenanted office blocks which offer little opportunity for expansion.

However, those charged with preserving the City’s role as the UK’s pre-eminent financial centre insist there is room for both business districts.

Peter Rees, the City of London planning officer, explains that London needed Canary Wharf during the 1990s to accommodate the rapid expansion of the financial services sector.

“It is just like London built Croydon as a satellite town to take up the overspill in the 70s,” says Mr Rees.

“Canary Wharf is good for the US model of banks, which want 1m sq ft and their workers to be in the building all day, so need a big canteen and a gym. For me, though, the best thing for business is to have workers out picking up gossip. I think of the City like a collection of beehives on a compost heap - bankers have to come out to cross-pollinate from time to time,” Mr Rees adds.

So far, despite sharp job cuts at most banks amid the ongoing financial crisis, there is little sign of a fall-off in demand for ever bigger headquarters. And despite some relaxation in the City’s attitude to tower block construction, it is Canary Wharf’s building schedule of ever higher towers that looks set to dominate the supply.

Against the steady flow of banks shifting staff from the City of London to Canary Wharf, one has swum in the opposite direction. Nomura, the Japanese bank that was the last occupant of JPMorgan’s new Canary Wharf headquarters after it bought the defunct Lehman Brothers franchise, moved into a slick Square Mile riverside building last year. There were several reasons but one important one was staff demand to be back in that “beehive” atmosphere. “I was hugely relieved,” says a senior executive. “There’s a degree of inhumanity in Canary Wharf. One of the joys of the City is the mix of streets, the different people, the independent shops.”

Other bankers who have been reluctantly displaced to Canary Wharf say they have had to maintain “outpost” office facilities in the City or West End in order to meet clients who refuse to travel so far east.

Nevertheless, most property experts reckon the future of the City will lie increasingly with non-banks, and even with companies that have nothing to do with financial services.

A spate of recent deals, including Blackstone’s £340m acquisition of Devonshire Square in Bishopsgate last week, have involved companies wanting to take over existing office space and re-brand it to suit a new generation of migrants to the City, such as smaller technology and media companies.

“I hope the new skyscrapers in the City do not attract big banks,” Mr Rees says. “We want them to be multi-tenanted buildings which can take in some of the demand pushing in from the creative companies.”
http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/f280f2bc-9...#axzz1uq0tP2Qw
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