Has the Google deal at King’s Cross gone sour?
When developer Argent signed up Google to develop and occupy a prominent plot in its 67-acre redevelopment of King’s Cross, north London, in March 2012, it was hailed as a massive coup.
Consultants were appointed, including architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, a contractor was hired, Bam, and a move in date of 2016 was pencilled into the diary.
It seemed the Google job was marching unstoppably forward. Until last November, when the search engine giant announced it was shelving its plans in favour of conducting a design review and drawing up more radical plans.
This week we reveal that this process is expected to take as long as two years and is part of a review of all Google’s planned developments worldwide. Bam no longer considers the £300m job part of its pipeline, although the consultants appear safe for now.
Yet uncertainty and delay is not uncommon with tech clients, who often seem to apply their ‘rip it up and start it again’ philosophy from their products to real estate projects
So has the Google deal gone sour? The firm’s commitment to King’s Cross is not in doubt, but frustration is palpable. One source close to the project exasperatedly says: “I wish they’d make up their minds!”
Yet uncertainty and delay is not uncommon with tech clients, who often seem to apply their “rip it up and start it again” philosophy from their products to real estate projects.
The reward of having Google at King’s Cross still must outweigh the risks this uncertainty brings. But one thing is for certain - the hoardings will be up on this prominent site until 2018 at least.
Iain Withers is deputy news editor at Building