‘Full speed ahead’ on City’s tallest tower after funders commit to speculative build

Lipton Rogers’ 62-storey tower in the City of London has got the go-ahead after the final build contract was inked with contractor Multiplex yesterday.

Work on 22 Bishopsgate had been held up after the main investor on the scheme, French insurance firm Axa, sounded out others putting money into the scheme, asking them if they wanted to proceed following the Brexit vote.

But Peter Rogers, co-founder of developer Lipton Rogers, said: “It is all straightforward now. There are no issues and all construction contracts have been signed.”

Multiplex had previously been working on the project on a pre-construction services agreement. The full confirmed project team also includes architect PLP, engineer WSP, concrete subcontractor Careys, basement steel contractor William Hare and superstructure steel contractor Severfield.

Axa said its decision to press on with construction demonstrated its “confidence” in both the project and the Square Mile “as one of the leading global centres for international business that will respond to their future business needs.”

Pierre Vaquier, chief executive of AXA IM - Real Assets, added: “Our ongoing commitment to 22 Bishopsgate reflects our firm belief, and that of our clients and partners, in this development project, aligned to the fact we are taking a long term view of this investment.”

The target completion date for 22 Bishopsgate’s was pushed back a year to 2019.

The prime Square Mile site has a chequered history, after the earlier Saudi-funded scheme - known variously as the Pinnacle or the Helter Skelter - was abandoned due to cost issues.

Meanwhile, the £3.5bn Silvertown scheme in Docklands east London, in which Lipton Rogers is involved, has taken a crucial step forward with the signing of its Section 106 agreement with Newham council.

Rogers said that the plan for the 25ha project, which will provide 3,000 new homes and 465,000sq m of new commercial space, was aiming to secure all the neccessary development funding by Christmas.