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January 14, 2014 6:15 pm
London’s newest landmark, the Shard, is to be joined by a second tower.
The 27-storey building, announced at a public consultation on Tuesday, will contain 150 apartments and retail space.
Shard architect Renzo Piano is to design the 160,000 sq ft residential building as part of the Shard’s parent development, London Bridge Quarter. It will sit next to the Shard and London Bridge Station. A planning application will be submitted shortly.
The homes will be dwarfed by the 87-storey Shard, the tallest building in western Europe, which is billed as a “vertical city” and opened last year.
The announcement is the latest evidence of the rush to develop high-end homes in London to take advantage of the capital’s rapidly rising house prices.
Prices in London rose 11.6 per cent year on year, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Tuesday – more than double the average across the UK. London house prices are 18 per cent higher than their previous peak in 2008, according to the ONS.
Other London housing development plans announced recently include Chinese state group Greenland’s acquisition of the Ram brewery site in Wandsworth, south London, and Berkeley Group’s redevelopment of the former News International publishing site in Wapping, east London.
Canary Wharf Group announced late last year that its Wood Wharf scheme on the Isle of Dogs would include 3,000 homes.
The UK’s biggest publicly listed commercial real estate companies have also increased their exposure to the housing market – some 40 per cent of their future development programmes are residential.
The growing interest in residential development is being driven by alternative investors such as sovereign wealth funds, which are flooding into the market and helping to push asset prices up, research published in December by estate agent Knight Frank revealed.
London Bridge Quarter is being developed by Sellar Property Group in partnership with Qatari sovereign wealth fund Qatari Diar. It coincides with the redevelopment of the train station itself, which is due to be completed in 2018.
James Sellar, son of SPG founder Irvine Sellar, said: “This exciting project continues the regeneration of the area around London Bridge Station, building on the success of both the Shard and The Place as well as the significant improvements we have already made to the station concourse and bus station.”
The Shard includes 10 apartments, rumoured to be priced at £50m each; none of them has been sold. The office space inside the Shard has not yet been let, although the FT understands that negotiations with potential tenants are ongoing.
News UK, publisher of The Times and The Sun, recently signed an agreement to move into the “Baby Shard”, officially called The Place, which sits next door to the main tower itself.
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