Upmarket London development planned for previous headquarters of Royal Horse Artillery

Multiplex has signed up for a £450m scheme to turn a former London barracks into an upmarket residential plot.

Building understands the firm has inked a PCSA for the St John’s Woods Barracks scheme, officially called St John’s Wood Square, which is being let as a shell and core job under a design and build deal. The fit-out, worth around £200m, is expected to be let as a CM deal.

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The scheme has been drawn up by Squire & Partners

The scheme has a price tag of between £400m and £450m with firms told last week that Multiplex had pipped Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine to the work. The PCSA is expected to last around nine months.

Both Multiplex and Mace have worked on the redevelopment of another former army barracks site in London, Qatari Diar’s Chelsea Barracks scheme.

Lendlease had been lined up for the St John’s Wood job several years ago but is understood to have walked away from it last year because of concerns about risk, although the job is believed to be markedly different from the one Lendlease won in 2017.

McGee began demolition work last autumn at the barracks which served as the headquarters for the Royal Horse Artillery until 2012, having first being developed as a barracks 200 years earlier when it was the home to the Corps of Gunner Drivers.

It was given planning in 2015 and is in the heart of St John’s Wood, close to Lord’s cricket ground as well as Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park.

Westminster city council first granted planning permission for a residential scheme on the site in 2011 but the developer, St John’s Wood Square Ltd, was then acquired by Malaysian billionaire Ananda Krishnan for a reported £250m.

The developer has said it “intends to provide a high-quality residential environment, which is in keeping with the St John’s Wood area”. Work also involves turning a grade II-listed riding school into an amenity.

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Firms are being asked to price shell and core only

The 2015 consent allowed for the provision of 117 private dwellings and 59 intermediate rental affordable dwellings on site, along with 41 social rental homes which will be built offsite at the nearby Old Marylebone Road.

Amendments made last year have taken the total number of homes at the barracks site up by three to 179, in addition to the 41 offsite which need to be completed before the private homes can be occupied.

Others working on the scheme include architect Squire & Partners, which was behind much of the masterplan for the Chelsea Barracks redevelopment.

Gardiner & Theobald is project manager and QS.