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And So It Starts

The first signs that the expected crop of new skyscrapers for the City of London could soon be underway are becoming apparent with initial works being carried out on site.

First up the project that's been around the longest - the Heron Tower at 110 Bishopsgate. Although the site is still occupied by Norton Rose the works are now no longer simply being carried out by Thames Water. Contractors, Skanska and Mace are onsite redirecting the services and in particular the sewer to help prepare for a running start to construction.

There are also some interesting rumours that the tower might get yet another height increase, but they are still rumours at this stage. It's already had one that boosted it from 183 metres to 202 metres tall, another would presumably knock it up by a further 19 metres.

At 122 Leadenhall Street where the Leadenhall Building will be going contactors are now making boreholes on the edges of the site to check out what the soil is like there as the foundations will have to be a whopping 18 metres deep. British Land are eager to get this one off to as quick a start as possible when they take control of the site in early 2007.

Finally, at the site of the Bishopsgate Tower, Keltbray have commenced piling. The site is still occupied by Crosby Court so obviously this is not construction, rather we understand that test piles are being driven into the ground first. Once this is completed then Keltbray will begin on the demolition contract will be clearing the site.

Bishopsgate Tower developer, DIFA is very unlikely to go for a speculative start for the scheme despite their increasing equity. However it does send a message to potential tenants of the tower that they can start it as soon as possible, something that both British Land and Heron are also trying to do. When you throw into the mix, Land Securities plans for 20 Fenchurch Street, and the Great Portland Estates project that is planned for 80-88 Bishopsgate, then you have an arms race of major developers.

All of them have plans to build skyscrapers in the same small area of London appealing to the same sort of clients, making it an interesting game of property poker as they all try and beat each other and get that ace in the deck. Minerva look like becoming the first loser, who will be next?

Article Related buildings:

Heron Tower

Heron Tower
The Leadenhall Building

The Leadenhall Building
The Bishopsgate Tower

The Bishopsgate Tower
The Future City of London Skyline
The Future City of London Skyline