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Laing O’Rourke signs Cheesegrater contract

2 Aug 11 Laing O’Rourke has beaten Skanska to the main contract to build The Leadenhall Building in London EC3 for British Land and Oxford Properties.

Following completion of the joint venture between British Land and Oxford Properties in 2010, construction work restarted on site in January 2011.  Foundations and preliminary basement works are nearing completion and with the construction contract awarded within the £290m budget and ahead of time, the main construction works are expected to start in September. 

The exact value of Laing O'Rourke's contract has not been disclosed, but the total development cost remains the £340m that it was a year ago. 

Roger Robinson, Chief Executive at Laing O’Rourke’s Europe Hub said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this unique project in the City of London. It is a complex build programme which will require exceptional engineering capabilities to successfully deliver the landmark scheme that our clients are expecting from us.”

British Land head of developments Nigel Webb said: “Laing O’Rourke has an excellent track record of delivering major schemes and we look forward to working with them to deliver The Leadenhall Building, which is set to become a defining City landmark.”

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The 47 storey, 736 ft (224m) Leadenhall tower – dubbed the Cheesegrater because of its distinctive tapering profile – is designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners. It will be one of the tallest buildings in the City of London and will combine nearly half an acre of landscaped open space with offices and retail and dining facilities.

As it tapers, The Leadenhall Building will deliver floor plates of varying size, ranging from 21,000 sq ft on the lower floors to 6,000 sq ft at the top of the tower. 

In October 2010, British Land agreed heads of terms to develop The Leadenhall Building with Oxford Properties in a 50:50 joint venture basis. In May 2011, non-binding heads of terms were agreed with Aon Ltd for a 191,000 sq ft pre-let at the scheme with options to take a further 85,000 sq ft.

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