Development manager Lipton Rogers still to settle on procurement options for 18 Blackfriars project

A main contractor appointment for a huge towers scheme at Blackfriars is expected after the summer once the procurement strategy is finally sorted out.

Building understands the procurement method for the scheme at 18 Blackfriars, which will be one of the biggest to come up for grabs in London in the coming years, is still being worked on but one source said “it is likely to be some form of D&B”.

Firms to have looked at the scheme include Multiplex along with Mace, Lendlease and Sir Robert McAlpine. But several, including Mace and McAlpine, are understood to be only interested if it was let as CM deal.

18 Blackfriars Road_Hines_Millennium Bridge View_Credit DBOX and Foster + Partners_

Main construction work is set to start early next year and finish in 2029

Lipton Rogers, the development manager on the project, is also understood to be looking at breaking the main contract down into smaller parts in order to spread risk with a main contract award due this autumn.

The work at 18 Blackfriars for US developer Hines will see the construction of a 45-storey office plus two residential buildings of 40 and 22 storeys all rising from a four-storey podium.

Last month Building reported that several would-be bidders were waiting to see how the job would be let before pricing it because of worries over financial risk.

The job, designed by Foster & Partners, will be one of the biggest to come up for grabs in London in the coming years but contractors are worried that the sheer size of the project – the scheme is worth between £900m and £1bn – will mean it is too risky to price under a design and build contract.

Enabling works are due to begin by the end of the year with main construction starting early next year. The entire scheme is expected to take four years to build.