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Berkeley Wins Beetham Boomerang Bid

Berkeley Homes tower building division, St George, has successfully won the battle to acquire the site for the Beetham Tower in London.

The 1.4 acre site at 1 Blackfriars, it is literally five minutes walk from the City of London on the southern side of Blackfriars Bridge, and has planning permission for a 163-metre tall tower designed by Ian Simpson Architects that if built would host a luxury hotel with 261 rooms, and a further 64 apartments on the upper levels.

The site was owned by Beetham, the tower builder of Manchester fame, and Russian property company Mirax, however the scheme fell into trouble following the 2008 credit crunch and was taken into adminstration in October 2010.

The preferred bidder for the site was previously said to be Essential Land, but Berkeley Homes, the largest home builder in Britain pipped them to the post in purchasing the site for a figure believed to be anything up to 85 million.

They have a proven track record through their St George subsidiary of developing prime high-rise residential schemes in London, with the latest being the 181 metre tall St George Wharf currently rising in Vauxhall.

Here they are expected to proceed with the scheme more or less as it stands, although with a new owner it will obviously need a new name. A new planning application would prove contentious, not to mention expensive, after the previous struggle to get the building approved in the face of opposition from heritage bodies.

There is however no timeline on when the development could start.
Beetham Tower, London
Beetham Tower, London