Scheme to overhaul Citi’s 42-storey block could be worth as much as £400m

Overbury has been lined up for a huge overhaul of Citi’s Canary Wharf headquarters in a deal which could end up being the firm’s biggest ever.

The US investment bank has given the job to overhaul its 42-storey office tower at 25 Canada Square, completed in 2001 to a design drawn up by César Pelli & Associates, an official value of £100m.

But Building understands the final price could be north of £300m and as much as £400m – making it Overbury’s biggest job in its 56 year history.


The scheme will have new green spaces as part of the refurbishment

Overbury is preferred bidder for the job and is expected to sign a deal later this year ahead of work starting next. Architect on the scheme is Wilkinson Eyre.

Overbury’s parent Morgan Sindall, which will release bumper 2021 results next month, said fit-out work has boomed during the pandemic with the business having a record order book of £944m at the end of last September – a rise of 130% from the end of 2020.

Citi employs 9,000 people in London and its EMEA chief executive David Livingstone said: “Our aim is to create an environmentally sustainable, innovative and exciting place to work, incorporating modern design, state-of-the-art technology and best practices in employee and client spaces.”

The work has been planned ever since Citi bought the tower in 2019 for a reported £1bn but the scheme had been held up by the pandemic. Citi has told staff to come back to the office for three days a week and Livingstone added: “We’re a business of energy and ideas and we thrive on bringing people together.”

All of the bank’s London staff will relocate temporarily to the nearby 33 Canada Square and another building close by until the refurbishment is complete – which has officially been put at 2025.

The news is a further tonic for the finance sector which has seen swathes of Canary Wharf and the City turned into ghost towns by the pandemic with staff being forced to work from home.


Work is scheduled to finish in 2025

Last September, ISG won a £100m deal to overhaul the headquarters of Barclays Bank also in Canary Wharf.

Earlier this month, new ISG chief executive Matt Blowers told Building turnover for fit-out in London last year was around £600m and that businesses were willing to spend large sums of money on upgrading offices.

“An office is a shop window into a business’s culture,” he said. “There is a massive war on talent not just in our sector but across the piece. People are investing significant money on getting their facilities in a great place to retain talent and attract the best.”

Last week a survey carried out by EY found 87% of global financial services firms plan to establish or extend operations in the UK in 2022.