Laing O’Rourke and Skanska are the firms to make the shortlist

Laing O’Rourke and Skanska have been shortlisted to construct the £340m Cheesegrater tower in London.

The decision by joint developers British Land and Oxford Properties knocks Mace and Sir Robert McAlpine out of the running for the prestigious skyscraper job.

6.4 million ft2 of space is being built in london compared with 2.7 million ft2 six months ago

It is understood a final decision on the design and build contractor will be made by the first week of August.

The 47-storey Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners-designed tapering tower is one of the most high profile office developments among a raft of schemes looking to capitalise on the resurgent London commercial sector.

Once completed, it will be one of the tallest buildings in the Square Mile and will provide 610,000ft2 of office space, as well as retail and leisure facilities.

The developers aim to complete construction by the second quarter of 2014.

Basement works began in January, managed by Bovis Lend Lease.

Lend Lease, which had been in line for the main contractor role before the project was shelved in 2007, was knocked out of the re-run contest earlier this year. Balfour Beatty also missed out on the shortlist.

Last month British Land confirmed its first tenant for the scheme, after US-based insurance firm, Aon, signed up to occupy the first 10 floors of the building.

A Deloitte survey last month confirmed the buoyant picture for the London commercial sector, with office construction up 137% in six months.

It found 6.4 million ft2 of space is being built compared with 2.7 million ft2 six months ago.

British Land signed a 50:50 joint venture with Canadian property investors Oxford Properties in October last year to revive the Cheesegrater scheme.

The development was shelved in 2008 by British Land, citing the recession and concerns about occupational demand.