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Land Securities confirms plans for £300m Walkie Talkie skyscraper

19 May 10 Land Securities has confirmed plans to progress the 150m-high Walkie Talkie skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London.

Land Securities has confirmed plans to progress the 150m-high Walkie Talkie skyscraper at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London.

Announcing its annual results, the developer said: “The changing dynamics in the office market lead us to believe that both Land Securities and the City of London will gain substantial benefit from this landmark development.

“We are currently exploring the options to develop this scheme in joint venture in order to diversify leasing risk and leave us capacity to bring forward a range of other projects.”

Previously, the developer was tipped to partner with Canary Wharf on the scheme.

The construction value of the Walkie Talkie skyscraper is estimated at £300m, and Land Securities estimates a build time of three years.

The developer said that its current strategy is to focus on the two largest segments of the UK commercial property market – retail and London offices.

“We are moving into supply-constrained market conditions in central London and this offers opportunity for those able to deliver the right property at the right time. Our robust balance sheet, high quality portfolio and sizeable development pipeline put us in an excellent position,” said Robert Noel, managing director of Land Securities' London portfolio.

Other London schemes that the developer is progressing include:

  • One New Change, EC4. Due to complete in October 2010, this will provide 19,900 sq m of retail space and 30,840 sq m of office space which will be completed to shell and core.
  • Park House, W1. This project covers an entire city block of just over an acre in Mayfair, and will comprise 15,140 sq m of offices, 8,140 sq m of retail and 5,380 sq m of residential in 39 units. Construction will be completed in late 2012.
  • 62 Buckingham Gate, SW1 (formerly Selborne House). This will feature 23,450 sq m of office accommodation, together with street-level shops and restaurants. Demolition has started, and construction is expected to be complete in 2013.
  • Wellington House, Buckingham Gate, SW1. The new scheme will create a residential development of 5,540 sq m providing 59 units. Demolition has started and delivery is scheduled for 2012.
  • Arundel Great Court, WC2. In November 2009, Land Securities secured full planning consent for a 61,890 sq m mixed-use development. The scheme is not anticipated to be complete before 2015.
  • Victoria Transport Interchange. In February 2009, Westminster City Council resolved to grant planning consent for a 84,600 sq m development, which will occupy an island site close to Victoria station. The scheme will comprise six buildings arranged to open up new accessible public spaces, with a mix of office, residential, retail and restaurant space and a new public library.

Land Securities said it was planning further schemes at 123 Victoria Street, SW1 (formerly Ashdown House), Cannon Street, EC4, Shoe Lane, EC4, and Ludgate Hill, EC4 and aims to submit planning applications during the year to March 2011.

In retail, the developer said it intends to progress the following schemes after securing planning consent:

  • 70,000 sq m of new retail space at its Leeds Trinity shopping centre.
  • development, which it expects to start in 2010.
  • Extension of the Tritton Road food store in Lincoln.
  • Extension to a Sainsbury’s store in Wandsworth, London, plus an additional retail unit and hotel.
  • An 8,360 sq m Sainsbury’s store at Almondvale South retail park, Livingston.
  • A food store at the Greyhound retail park, Chester.

“These planning successes reflect both the relative buoyancy of the food sector as it expands into non-food areas and also our ability to identify development opportunities and secure planning consents,” Land Securities added.

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