Firm pips McAlpine to west London deal drawn up by Foster + Partners
Laing O’Rourke has finally emerged triumphant in the race for the prized deal to overhaul the Whiteleys shopping centre in west London, Building understands.
The firm was locked in a battle with Sir Robert McAlpine for the £250m deal to turn the 1980s shopping centre behind the historic 1911 Queensway façade in Bayswater into a residential and hotel mixed-use development.
Four firms originally bid the job when it came up for grabs earlier this year but in August the race narrowed to just two after a pitch from Mace was knocked out. A bid from Multiplex fell earlier in the race.
Building understands the scheme’s decision-makers were split over who to appoint. “The design team likes the O’Rourke bid but the client is liking McAlpine,” one source said last month.
But over the past week O’Rourke, which brought its team over from Hammerson’s stalled Brent Cross shopping centre scheme to lead its bid, is understood to have pulled away and has now emerged victorious. “Macs are pretty gutted,” another source added. “I think it came down to who would fix their price.”
The redevelopment is being headed by a joint venture between a Meyer Bergman-advised fund and Warrior Group with development manager on the scheme, luxury property firm Finchatton.
Drawn up by Foster + Partners, the plans were recently updated taking the number of homes set to be delivered to 153, up from the previously consented 129. The rejigged proposals also include 14 on-site affordable homes.
The scheme will also include 100,000 sq ft of shops, a cinema and a hotel.
Others working on the £1bn development include project manager Gardiner & Theobald, QS Alinea, civil and structural engineer AKT II and WSP as the traffic and waste engineer.
Demolition contractor Erith, which has been on site since the end of last year, is tearing down the centre’s car park as well as the main shopping centre itself having already completed the removal of a number of heritage items at the site, parts of which are grade II listed.